What are the triumphs and struggles shaping accom news?

Queensland’s Dreamworld theme park will undergo a $50 million revamp which includes a new roller coaster, six new water slides and an extensive overhaul of the entire site.

While the findings of an inquest into the death of four guests on the park’s log ride in 2016 are yet to be released, CEO John Osborne says the Gold Coast venue will undergo a “transformation” in an effort to turn its fortunes around.

Alongside its newly-opened $20 million Sky Voyager ride, the park will develop a $30 million roller coaster capable of travelling at more than 100 mph and boasting a 1.2 kilometre track with multiple inversions.

Dreamworld’s adjoining sister park, WhiteWater World, will see a new water slide development and the site’s ABC KIDS World will also undergo a major upgrade.

“Investment into new rides, attractions and technologies to improve customer experience is key for Dreamworld’s future direction,” Osborne said.

“Today’s announcements, along with the opening of Sky Voyager is a fantastic start to our transformation of the park.”

New laws around the registration and operation of amusement park rides, introduced following the 2016 tragedy, came into effect in May.

One and only 

The NSW Blue Mountains property Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has won a prestigious international best of the best award for its commitment to sustainable tourism.

The award, from the luxury travel network Virtuoso,was presented during the 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week held this month to honour top international hotels across ten categories.

The win comes just weeks after the property was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2019 TAA NSW Awards for Excellence.

“Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is a winner on so many levels, so it is great to see it win this extremely competitive category on the international stage,” said TAA NSW chief executive Michael Johnson. 

“The hotel’s commitment to sustainable tourism and environmentally practices is second to none – it fully deserves this accolade.

“On behalf of TAA NSW and our members I would like to congratulate management and staff at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley for their drive, hard work and dedication.”

Dogged determination

A US hotel brand famed for its pro-dog approach is coming to Melbourne.

The 1 Hotels chain has announced a new 280-room hotel to open in 2022 opposite the city’s convention centre on the banks of the Yarra.

Fluffy pet beds, canine minibar treats, doggy daycare, walking services and a dog-friendly concierge are all part of the service at 1 Hotels, and other pets are welcomed – but must be confirmed on a case-by-case basis.

Humans will be catered for at the Melbourne property through a wellness centre and food offering, and the sustainability-focused brand will look to include recycled materials in its design.

While there’s no charge for dogs at 1 Hotels’ US properties, owners are held responsible for any damage their pets cause, and dogs must be on a leash in public spaces and can’t be left alone.

Hospitality helpers

Suicide prevention charity R U OK? is calling on Australia’s hospitality workers to look out for their colleagues through its new “Trust the Signs” initiative.

A survey of hospitality workers commissioned by the charity last year revealed 80 percent of hospitality workers see mental health issues such as feeling depressed, anxious or manic as an industry feature.

The research found around 50 percent of hospitality workers in the last year said they had wanted someone at work to ask them if they were OK, and around 40 percent had thought about asking someone if they were OK, but didn’t.

“We know the majority of Australians believe talking to someone who’s struggling can make a difference. But what we’re hearing, is that people aren’t sure when the right time is to have an R U OK? conversation,” said CEO Katherine Newton.

“Signs can be subtle changes in verbal or non-verbal behaviour. A loved one might tell you they’re having difficulty switching off or a mate might be withdrawing from social situations like not turning up to training.

“We’re encouraging people to look out for those cues. We can also make a conscious effort when we know someone is going through a significant life change such as job loss, relationship breakdown, study pressure or perhaps becoming a parent.”

R U OK?’s hospitality campaign includes a free set of resources available to download at  which promote a culture that encourages work families to look out for each other.

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