One of Intrepid Travel’s top brass has vented the company’s disapproval over recent photos showing hordes of tourists climbing Uluru.
The photos, which have surfaced on social media over the last few days, show massive lines of visitors clambering up the sacred Northern Territory landmark before a climbing ban kicks in on 26 October.
This really is nuts.
The #Uluru climb two days ago. It closes for good in October.
📷Glenn Minett/ABC Alice Springs pic.twitter.com/sAFdfvpKwz
— Rohan Barwick (@rohwick) July 10, 2019
The ban was put in place due to safety and environmental concerns, as well as the landmark’s cultural significance to the traditional custodians of the land, the Anangu people.
Intrepid Travel’s general manager for the Asia Pacific, Brett Mitchell, told Travel Weekly that the company was “incredibly disappointed” to see the lines of people hiking up Uluru.
“We ceased climbing back in 1998, in respect to the traditional owners,” he said.
“As a responsible travel company, we believe that tourism needs to work for local communities as well as the travellers visiting them. Uluru is a sacred site and it should be treated as such.
Mitchell said Intrepid’s team on the ground has reported an influx of tourists hiking the rock, and has also received more enquiries around climbing it.
“We educate travellers about why they shouldn’t climb, but we cannot stop them,” he said.
“We communicate our respect for the site wherever we can – from trip notes, to sales, to our people on the ground.”
The shocking photos come not long after a pic of a human traffic jam on Mount Everest went viral and stunned the world.