The Innamincka Hotel lies in one of the most remote settlements in Australia, 1,065 km north-east of Adelaide near the end of the Strzelecki Track in Sturt Stony Desert.
The original Innamincka Hotel was established in 1886 and played host to drovers and stockmen travelling between Queensland and South Australia.
The current hotel, rebuilt in the 1970s, after the original was abandoned, has been painstakingly re-developed by the owners to reflect the character of its ancestors.
With few facilities and services available in this part of the Outback, the Hotel is an important stop for the thousands of tourists who travel to the state’s remote north-east each year.
General Manager, Jo Fort says in country and outback towns across Australia, the local pub takes a central role in the community, as a place for people to gather.
“Perhaps that’s why the team at the Innamincka Hotel approach every day with the aim to exceed expectations,” she said.
“The Innamincka Hotel is a community pub. It’s a place where people can be themselves and know that they belong in a community of like-minded individuals.
“We are very aware that our business success depends on the way we present Australia’s outback culture, and we celebrate a certain aspect of the Australian national psyche – its irreverent, good-natured, hardworking, yarn-telling side.”
Maintaining a commitment to excellence in customer service and ensuring continuous improvement across all levels of the business have been key to the Hotel’s success.
“In 2018 we decided it was time to revisit our vision and mission statements to better reflect what our business stood for,” said Jo.
“We engaged a business coach and together we reviewed our values and brand personality.
“From there we revised our job descriptions to ensure that the people we hired would best reflect our values.
“This experience taught us the importance of communication and working as a team to offer quality hospitality services.”
Three tips for business success:
1). Foster a culture of generosity.
2). Watch out for opportunity.
3). Allow time for reflection.
Three things to love about Outback SA:
1). Sleeping in a swag on the Birdsville Track.
2). Bird calls at sunrise on Cooper Creek.
3). Sitting on a dune sharing stories and sundowners.
Developing working relationships with competitors to deliver promotional activities and packages has also been important for the business.
“Although our partnerships are genuine and benefit both us and our collaborators, we still work very hard to focus on the distinctly different tourism experience that we’re able to offer.”
Given that the Outback landscape is vital to its distinctive tourism offering, it is no wonder why the Hotel is dedicated to protecting the environment in which it operates.
“Innamincka Hotel has a responsibility to improve environmental performance by reducing, reusing and recycling across all our business activities,” Jo said.
“The introduction of Solar and Battery, and the reduction in the use of Diesel Fuel Generators, has resulted in lowering the Hotel’s operational costs for power generation by approximately 65 per cent.
“We encourage our business partners and members of the wider community to join us in this effort.”
Looking ahead as to what the next ten years may hold, Jo says the big dream is to develop a Cooper Creek walk.