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A new era for Australian tourism

February 23, 2021 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Iconic Australian tourism assets El Questro in WA and Kings Canyon Resort in the NT are back in Australian hands, with the G’day Group purchasing the properties from global hospitality company Delaware North.

The G’day Group have also purchased Lane Cove Holiday Park in NSW in a $60M acquisition and development strategy that will see these properties become part of Australia’s largest regional accommodation group.*

With El Questro and Kings Canyon traditionally reliant upon international visitors, the move shows confidence in a strong rebound for inbound tourism once borders reopen.

A boom in roadtrips due to closed international borders has delivered a record six months for the G’day Group, and prior to Christmas the company announced $100 million of investments across SA and NSW with acquisitions including two resorts and convention centres.

CEO Grant Wilckens says it is an honor to preside over two treasured Australian tourism icons, El Questro and Kings Canyon, bringing them back under Australian ownership.

“We are a proud Australian company. When I founded the company 17 years ago with three parks in regional WA, I never imagined that the company would grow to be the largest regional tourism provider in the nation, with some of Australia’s best tourism products in our stable,” said Grant.

“COVID has caused devastation for the tourism industry broadly, however we’re so fortunate that closed borders have delivered a golden era for our corner of the sector.”

“While G’day Group’s roots have been in traditional holiday parks, in recent years we’ve been investing in higher end, experiential tourism. We built the award-wining Discovery – Rottnest Island, a glamping resort in WA along with buying a number of other resorts, country clubs and golf courses.”

“Most of our regions are enjoying a golden era, with Aussies holidaying at home like never before.”

“Along with our owned properties, we represent 220+ independent park owners. These regional operators had a tough 2020 but most are now thriving, and the challenge will be keeping regional visitation strong when international borders re-open. Aussies will then head overseas, and we need to entice our inbound visitors beyond our capital cities and out into our regions,” said Grant.

Gary Brown, Managing Director of Delaware North said, ”After more than a decade of proudly serving as the stewards of Kings Canyon Resort and El Questro Resort, and more recently Lane Cove Holiday Park, Delaware North has made the difficult decision to sell these three properties to the G’day Group.”

“As Delaware North, along with the broader hospitality industry, continues to rebound from the impact of COVID-19, this strategic divestiture aligns with the company’s decision to refocus on its core business of providing world-class hospitality services at high-profile places such as sports stadiums, airports, casinos and remote mining locations, while retaining the connection to operating in iconic locations through Lizard Island Resort, north of Cairns, and Pinewood Lodge, in Queenstown, New Zealand.”

Brown added, “Delaware North is proud of its record of operating Kings Canyon Resort, El Questro Resort and Lane Cove Holiday Park, and recognises its success in enhancing the guest experience at these properties would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of its valued team members. We look forward to working closely with the G’day Group to ensure a seamless transition.”

Combined with a major upgrade to the company’s Broome property, the acquisitions of El Questro and Kings Canyon Resort will see the G’day Group champion drive tourism through the top end.

El Questro will reopen following settlement, having been closed since COVID hit in March 2020.

G’day Group has upgrades planned for each property, particularly King Canyon Resort, with collective upgrades anticipated to be $22M, creating 272 regional Australian jobs during construction.

Founded by CEO Grant Wilckens in 2004 with three regional WA properties, G’day Group now directly owns / manages almost 600 ha of tourism land across Australia, making it the largest private tourism landholder in Australia.

For more information visit: www.gdaygroup.com.au

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