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Upgrade of iconic Ozone Hotel a boost for Kangaroo Island tourism

26 March 2013    

A major upgrade of Kangaroo Island’s historic Aurora Ozone Hotel will not only increase the Kingscote landmark’s international visitor capacity, it will also have positive spinoffs for the wider local tourism sector, says the hotels operator Aurora Hotels-Resorts-Attractions.

Upgrade works now underway at the Ozone will significantly lift the number of 4-star rooms on the island and increase its capacity to accommodate a rise in international visitors expected from recent tourism marketing campaigns.

Mr Ian Drummond, Aurora Executive Chair, explained that work includes conversion of 12 existing rooms to 4-star standard with new balconies to take in the sea views. Six historic pub rooms will also be upgraded to 4-star standard and French doors installed giving access to private balconies overlooking the foreshore.

“These are positive times for tourism on the island and there’s been a lot of work done at many levels to promote the island internationally, so we want to make sure we are ready for the expected influx, especially from China and other Asian countries,’’ Mr Drummond said.

“The work now underway on the 12 rooms will see a total contemporary refurbishment and the addition of sliding picture windows leading out to new balconies to take advantage of some of the best views on Kangaroo Island. The upgrade of the early pub rooms will be done in a more traditional style and will create large private balconies for each.

“We are very excited about this work which follow the upgrade we did three years ago of our conference and function rooms and which will give us a total of 44 international-standard rooms in addition to the 31 rooms and apartments which make up our stock of 75 rooms.’’

By the time the work is completed in July, $2.5 million will have been invested in upgrade of the Ozone in recent years.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said that the money being spent by Aurora Hotels-Resorts-Attractions to upgrade Kangaroo Island’s Aurora Ozone Hotel was significant and a very positive example of the effectiveness of a local tourism operator working in tandem with Federal and State governments, for mutual benefit.

“Kangaroo Island, with its wonderful combination of unspoiled nature and uniquely Australian wildlife, is one of our country’s great tourism assets and South Australia Tourism Commission (SATC) should be applauded for the great work they’ve been doing recently to really put the island firmly on the map,’’ Mr McEvoy said.

“What’s really pleasing is to see local operators like Aurora Ozone Hotel showing such confidence and foresight by investing in such a significant upgrade, which I’m sure will result in significant future benefits and help cater for the increasing numbers of visitors being lured to the island as a result of the great exposure it’s currently enjoying both at home and overseas.”

Mr Drummond said the Island was seeing increasing numbers of visitors from Asia.

“We are doing our own marketing in Asia with our own marketing person, but have also been taking part in all of the great initiatives of the SA Tourism Commission, which is doing a fantastic job.

“The Chinese inbound tourist operators we deal with all tell us that there’s a growing sophisticated market of repeat visitors who want something different. They want to see wildlife in its natural habitat, magnificent landscapes, wide open skies, fresh air, self-drive experiences and they’ve all heard of Kangaroo Island.’’

He said increasing the amount of 4-star accommodation would not only increase the Ozone’s international visitor capacity, it would also benefit the rest of the Island’s tourism sector, with flow on spin-offs for the rest of the Kangaroo Island economy.

Mr Drummond said that he was pleased Aurora has given priority where possible to supporting local suppliers and trades during the program of upgrade works.

Aurora received a total of $150,000 through the Federal Government’s Tourism Quality Projects (T-QUAL) grant program and $50,000 from the SATC.

Mr Drummond said the upgrade would not have been economically viable without the T-QUAL program and SATC grants.

The Aurora Ozone Hotel also has plans for a new 4-star, 45-room development – but this will only go ahead if the Kingscote airport is upgraded.

About Aurora Hotels Group

Aurora Hotels Group is an Australian owned and operated company, headquartered in Adelaide, with a majority of properties based in the Northern Territory.

The Aurora Hotels Group includes the Aurora Alice Springs, Heavitree Gap Outback Lodge in Alice Springs, Aurora Kakadu, Kakadu Lodge and Aurora Ozone Hotel in Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

Aurora has partners in Darwin (Travelodge Mirambeena Hotel) and Adelaide (Adina Adelaide Treasury Hotel).

Ian Drummond, Executive Chair, Aurora Hotels Resorts Attractions (08) 8419 2190

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