Destinations

Lobby group calls for Uluru climb to reopen to kickstart NT tourism

The chairman of a business lobby group and general manager for Alice Springs airport has called for the Uluru climb to reopen.

Dave Batic, who is the chairman of Alice Springs Major Business Group, told ABC News that there has been talk of a “grand” reopening of the climb to re-build tourism in the Northern Territory when borders reopen.

Batic said the idea is to reopen the climb for two-to-three years in partnership with the traditional owners.

“The concept there is that the traditional owners would provide tours for paying climbers and have a safety harness system in place just like the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” he said.

“I guess it would be a grand opening or reopening of the Northern Territory.

“There’s three iconic destinations in Australia that we talk about: The reef, the rock and the Sydney Opera House. The rock is actually going to be our saviour from a tourism perspective.”

Batic, acknowledged that it would be up to the traditional owners to manage the reopening but said 10,000 less people came through the airport each month following the closure of the climb.

The climb closed on 26 October 2019 after decades of campaigning from the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu people.

Tourists rushed to climb the iconic rock in the months leading up to the closure against the wishes of traditional owners, resulting in images of hoards of people scaling Uluru which circulated worldwide.

Member for Namatjira Chansey Paech told NT News he had been alarmed to hear people were calling for the reopening of the climb.

“Uluru will always be an attraction for people to come to Central Australia,” he said.

“They will always want to visit and look at the majesty of Uluru.

“We have to work together with Yulara, the Mutitjulu community, Parks Australia and tourism operators to market Uluru to get the maximum result. A comment on radio about possibly reopening the climb was alarming to me. I could not believe it was being verbalised.

“A significant amount of work has been done by traditional owners and Parks to get to where we are now.

“I will stand by my constituents and oppose and move to reopen the climb.”

Travel Weekly reached out to Parks Australia and has not yet received a response, however, a spokesperson told ABC News that the closure “represents the long-held wishes of the park’s traditional owners, Anangu”.

“At Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Board has been working with tourism businesses for several years to develop new attractions,” the spokesperson said.

“When the park is open it offers cultural workshops and demonstrations at the Cultural Centre every day, and the free ranger-guided Mala Walk each morning,” the spokesperson said.

“Visitors can discover ancient rock art, learn about the park’s amazing plants and animals and their significance to Anangu, and find locally made, authentic Indigenous art and crafts at the art centre.”

Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks are closed until 19 June 2020, in line with measures enacted under the Biosecurity Act.


Featured image credit: iStock/Julien Viry

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

Helloworld CEO pleased with investor feedback, as company completes $50m equity raising

Andrew Burnes has a bit of pep back in his step thanks to this latest vote of confidence from Helloworld’s investors.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

More than 100 jobs to go at Brisbane Airport

The cuts will account for, what would be by the end of 2020, a quarter of the company’s workforce.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Industry bodies back resilience of Victorian hoteliers, Lizard Island to reopen + MORE

Looking for some news to help you cure your winter blues? Sit back and let this week’s Hotel Wrap warm your bones.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy protection

Sir Richard Branson has reportedly been spotted buying Panadol in bulk to cope with the massive headache caused by Virgin’s UK-based airline.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Returning NSW residents from Victoria to go into hotel quarantine from Friday

Gladys has upped the strictness scale for returning NSW travellers, who will have to complete hotel quarantine at their own expense from Friday.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Crooked Compass gives agents opportunity to consult with the master

Have you been dreaming about becoming best friends with travel guru Lisa Pagotto? Now’s your opportunity to make an impression.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Travelport launches new tool for airline health and safety

Travelport has launched a nifty new feature to make airline health and safety measures more accessible for agents.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

STUDY: Aussies bursting for Pacific ‘bubble’ and domestic nature escapes

We creeped your clients’ search history and found out where they want to travel this year. Just kidding! An online travel platform did all the work for us.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Phew! Cruise line dodges potential COVID-19 outbreak after passenger tests positive

The poor old cruise industry was due for some positive news following the recent COVID-19 cases on board other cruise lines. Here it is.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Former Tourism Australia country manager resurfaces at Visit Sunshine Coast

Jenny Aitken hasn’t wasted much time finding a new role since her recent exit from Tourism Australia, unless you count her daytime Netflix bingeing.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Tigerair scratched, thousands of jobs cut and a simplified fleet: Virgin Australia’s six-point blueprint for success

Have you been wondering what the hell Virgin and its future owner have been up to as the administration process nears the finish line? All is revealed here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Gun-toting hotel guest fires ‘warning shots’ after telling guests off for not social distancing

The coronavirus pandemic has unearthed some absolute crazies. On one end of the spectrum, you have Bunnings Karen; on the other end, you have this guy.

Share

CommentComments