Hotel caught in race row

Management at a hotel in Alice Springs have been accused of instructing staff to segregate guests if they were Aboriginal.

A report by the ABC alleges that employees at the Ibis Styles Alice Springs Oasis were told by management to place Aboriginal people in inferior rooms while charging them the same price as other guests.

The ABC report quotes a staff member who says the hotel routinely assigns Aboriginal people to one of six designated rooms which use hospital linen and were not kept to the same standard as the other rooms.

An email reportedly sent by management to staff last June and obtained by the ABC appears to verify the story.

“Just to keep everyone in the loop we are now only putting hospital linen into rooms 85 to 90,” the email read.

“These rooms are to be referred to as community rooms and we will try to limit them to just that, those coming from the communities.

“Reception ladies, please use a touch of initiative and allocate accordingly on arrival.”

Accor has issued a statement saying it has strict anti-discrimination policies and practices in place and will take action on the matter immediately.

“Since Accor was made aware of the matter raised on the ABC at Ibis Styles Alice Springs Oasis, we have initiated an investigation into the allegations and are taking prompt and decisive action on this incident at the highest level,” the hotel company stated.

“We are extremely saddened and disappointed by this as it completely goes against our values and track record as a company with over 17 years of engagement with our Indigenous community, through our leading Indigenous programs.

“Accor has stepped in to use the strength of its Indigenous engagement platform to reiterate the non-negotiable values of our business and specifically undertake cultural training at the hotel immediately.

“It is our number one priority to ensure that we make every hotel employee and guest feel welcome, safe, valued and equal.

“We are proud of our relationship with our Indigenous community including our diverse group of Indigenous employees within Accor and the role they play in shaping the Australian tourism industry.”

An internal investigator has been appointed to review the report while interim management has been appointed to the hotel while the investigation continues.