23 March 2021: The National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA) and Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT) today announced the NRMA will acquire the RACT’s tourism portfolio of hotels and marine tourism services, cementing NRMA’s position as one of Australia’s largest transport and tourism operators.
NRMA will acquire RACT’s award-winning and iconic Freycinet Lodge, Cradle Mountain Hotel, Strahan Village and Gordon River Cruises - unique tourism assets that will build on NRMA’s $800 million investment in tourism which includes Cairns-based Coral Expeditions in which it made a minority investment last month.
NRMA also announced today it had created a new division, NRMA Expeditions, to focus on strategically growing its investment in the tourism sector through acquisitions and partnerships and that this role would be led by NRMA Chief Investment Officer Rachel Wiseman, who will become CEO of NRMA Expeditions.
“International travel will likely be a way off for Australians and we believe domestic tourism will play a critical role in driving Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery. Tasmania, with its unique natural assets and sophisticated food and cultural offerings, will be central to this,” Ms Wiseman said.
“NRMA Expeditions will focus on delivering five-star experiences in natural environments and this is exactly what the RACT acquisition will deliver.
“Our members have told us, overwhelmingly, that they want new experiences and we want to deliver that for them.”
RACT Group Chief Executive Officer, Mark Mugnaioni said “RACT is excited to announce the documentation of an arrangement that includes a significant investment commitment for the properties, highlighting the buoyancy and confidence that exists within the Tasmanian tourism market, particularly in regional areas of the state.
“Our commitment to quality experiences that match the unique Tasmanian landscape in which we operate, is one of the key reasons for the NRMA’s interest in these properties. RACT is pleased to be able to hand over the keys of this iconic portfolio to a like-minded organisation that is keen to continue to invest in the Tasmanian tourism industry. We also look forward to partnering with the NRMA to provide unique Tasmanian insights into their operation.
“Importantly, throughout this process our people impacted by this decision have been our priority and we are pleased that NRMA has committed to support our people through a continued operational structure that will see our staff retained as part of the deal.”
Contact: Peter Khoury