Australia rules resorts cannot ban children

Hotel News - 16/02/2009

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The State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia has refused to grant an exemption to the owners of Chimes Spa Retreat, located near Denmark, which describes its resort as an “adults’ retreat”.

A number of tourism operators in Western Australia were outraged by the ruling, saying that the niche market they cater to is looking for holidays that don’t involve children.

The complainant was not named, and had not tried to book a holiday at Chimes, but said that their policy discriminated against her three-year-old daughter when she saw that they advertised only an “adults’ retreat”.

Kane Randle, the owner of Chimes, said that he was surprised when the Equal Opportunity Commission received a complaint in 2007.

“I was a bit facetious and said I’d tried to join kindy gym and was refused and I tried to join boy scouts and was told to bugger off,” he commented.

Randle subsequently applied for an exemption under the Act’s health and safety provisions, saying that as the resort featured an open spa in every guest room it might not be safe for children. His application was refused, however.

The operator has claimed that his resort and the “adult retreats” owned by 14 others in Western Australia had been stripped of their commercial advantage by the ruling.

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