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French company issues ‘formal communication’ to staff ‘reiterating our anti-discrimination expectations’. Courtesy: The Guardian

The international hotels giant Accor has appointed interim management to an Alice Springs hotel amid an investigation into allegations that staff had been segregating Aboriginal guests into lower quality rooms.

The French multinational company has confirmed an internal investigator has been appointed and an external reviewer is also being sought.

“At this time, interim management has been appointed to the hotel while we investigate,” an Accor spokeswoman said.

“We are issuing a formal communication to all employees reiterating our anti-discrimination expectations.”

She said all staff at Ibis Styles Alice Springs Oasis will under go anti-discrimination training next week to ensure all guests are treated with dignity, respect and made to feel welcome.

“Accor is committed to learning from this serious matter,” she said.

The company says it has taken prompt and decisive action following the revelations, which were first reported by the ABC’s Background Briefing program.

It was alleged that the Ibis Styles hotel in Alice Springs had directed staff to place guests from remote Aboriginal communities into designated rooms.

“These rooms are to be referred to as community rooms and we will try to limit them to just that, those coming from the communities,” said an internal email obtained by the ABC.

“Reception ladies, please use a touch of initiative and allocate accordingly on arrival.”

Photos and video of the rooms revealed the “community rooms” were dirty and poorly maintained, with broken glass, leftover food and discarded clothes found inside and on the patio.

The rooms cost the same as other, cleaner rooms where non-Indigenous guests were placed.