Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism and hospitality is a key sector of the Australian economy and well suited to providing strong economic benefits for Indigenous Australians. It is labour intensive, creating opportunities for employment and training, and enables Indigenous employees to connect to and promote their culture.

The tourism and hospitality investment strategy focuses on offering Australian and international visitors the opportunity to engage with and experience Indigenous cultures and peoples in an ethical, authentic and dynamic context. After a review of the strategy in 2015, Cooee Traveller was established to assist with management and product development of the IBA portfolio, as well as other Indigenous tourism ventures.

Kakadu Crocodile Hotel

Jabiru, NT
Boasting the only four star accommodation within Kakadu National Park, the Kakadu Crocodile Hotel at Jabiru is a joint venture between the Gagudju Association and IBA. The Gagudju Association represents ten local clan groups and actively participates in the governance of the asset, ensuring that business decisions are made with a focus on Indigenous outcomes. Purchased in 1999, this asset has performed consistently, returning regular income to investors.
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Cooinda Lodge

Cooinda, Jim Jim, NT
The Cooinda Lodge, located in Kakadu National Park approximately three hours from Darwin, is a joint venture between the Gagudju Association and IBA. It has a variety of accommodation and revenue streams, including cruises on the Yellow Water Billabong, a journey through the region’s spectacular wetlands. As well as the tours, the asset generates income from 48 lodge rooms and over 400 camp sites, a retail outlet and a petrol station. With peak employment numbers at approximately 100, the lodge consistently employs around 20 local Indigenous people. The Warradjan Cultural Centre, just 1 kilometre from the lodge, was developed by the Traditional Owners and displays artefacts and stories of the local Bininj people
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Adina Apartment Hotel and Vibe Hotel Darwin

Waterfront, Darwin, NT
These assets were purchased in 2009 in partnership with Larrakia Development Corporation and the Toga Group. IBA subsequently bought Larrakia Development Corporation to enable them to pursue other investment opportunities. Following a concerted effort to improve the Indigenous employment outcomes from this investment, the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront and Adina Apartment Hotels Darwin Waterfront now have in place a number of strategies to attract and retain Indigenous staff, including providing cultural competency training for all staff, establishing employment targets and fast-tracking Indigenous employees through internal training programs so that they can take up duty and general management positions sooner.

In 2014 IBA transferred part ownership to Wunan Foundation, an East Kimberley Indigenous organisation based in Kununurra, WA.
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Wilpena Pound Resort

Flinders Ranges, SA
The Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association Inc and IBA bought the Wilpena Pound Resort in early 2012. Since then, the proportion of its staff who are local Indigenous people has increased from zero to approximately 60 per cent.

The resort is a 60 room four-star resort located in the Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia, five hours drive from Adelaide. To broaden its market appeal, the resort developed the Ikara Safari Camp, consisting of a central facility and fifteen upscale safari tents. The camp opened in June 2014. In addition, the resort provides accommodation through its site campground which provides more than 350 sites, of which 46 sites are powered. Other sources of revenue within the Resort include aircraft tours, four-wheel drive tours, the sale of food and beverages, and services provided by a visitors centre. IBA and the Traditional Owners are working closely with management to provide training and employment opportunities for local Indigenous people.
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