Australian-owned tourism asset management firm, G’Day Group Holdings, has agreed terms to acquire two of Australia’s most prized rural tourism icons – El Questro and Kings Canyon Resort.
As part of an AUD$60 million acquisition strategy which also includes the purchase of Lane Cove Holiday Park in Sydney, the deal will see the two properties in Western Australia and the Northern Territory become part of Australia’s largest privately owned tourism asset portfolio.
G’day Group owns and operates a variety of holiday parks under the Discovery Parks brand, while representing hundreds of other privately owned parks under the G’Day Parks label. It also operates the G’Day Rewards membership program for frequent travellers.
The company is midway through an acquisition and development strategy which has so far seen it commit to AUD$100 million in investments of holiday parks, country clubs, golf courses, resorts and convention centres. Other recent moves by the company have been the opening of a high-end glamping resort on WA’s Rottnest Island.
The acquisition of El Questro and Kings Canyon Resort for the G’Day Group comes as the group aims to capitalise on the boom in domestic road trips during the COVID-19 international border closure.
G’day Group CEO, Grant Wilckens, said it was an honour to preside over two treasured Australian tourism icons and 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,” he said.
“While G’day Group’s roots have been in traditional holiday parks, in recent years we’ve been investing in higher end, experiential tourism.”
Wilckens added that Australians holidaying at home like never before had led to a record six months for the G’Day Group.
“Along with our owned properties, we represent 220+ independent park owners,” he added.
“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.”
Under their new ownership, G’Day Group says it has around AUD$22 million in upgrade plans for its three new acquisitions, with plans underway to reopen El Questro, which has been shuttered since the COVID-19 pandemic took off in March 2020.
Delaware North CEO, Gary Brown, said it was a difficult decision to sell El Questro and Kings Canyon Resort but that it was proud of what it had accomplished during its time operating both properties.