Pat Hyland - Feb 23, 2009
Australian hospitality players are banned from providing kids-free accommodation. Existing businesses are damaged by the Tribunal decision.Many hotels and hospitality facilities all around the world have been discovering the specific niche market of the adult-only accommodation for years. In such hotels parents may enjoy quiet moments without their kids and have a calm romantic weekend off. This was also true for Australia but things have changed now.Based on an advertisement of Chimes Spa Retreat that promotes itself as adults only getaway a US lawyer realized that her three-year-old daughter would be refused in the resort. With no intention to book a stay she asked the owner of the Chimes to provide her with three nights of free accommodation during the high season as compensation. Mr. Randle, the owner of the Chimes, refused the request. The lawyer claimed that her daughter was actually discriminated because of her age and so she complained at the Equal Opportunity Commission. Now the local facilities are prohibited from promoting themselves as adults only. The State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia decided kids may not be banned.Mr. Randle tried to gain an exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act. He pointed out that the Retreat was not safe for children as there were among other things high balconies and a large pond. He did not succeed. According to Mr. Randle the Chimes and other 14 businesses in the South-West of Western Australia were damaged.  It really is a ridiculously sad story. Now there is the question: who is actually discriminated? Those who want to take their kids to an adult only spa or those who want to spend their weekend without children running around? Mr. Randle wants the tourism authorities to solve the situation and get the laws changed.  The Chimes now is for sale, with an asking price of $3.8 million.

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