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

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch your eyes on rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

Getting tired of Facebook’s media ban nonsense? Combine your passion for social media with your passion for travel with this swanky new app.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I thought we were going down”: What we know about the United Airlines engine explosion

The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver when one of its engines blew apart, raining debris on suburban neighbourhoods below.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean cops further punishment for detaining Aussie cruiser over threesome

The man had already been paid almost $100,000 by the cruise line after being detained by crew members on Explorer of the Seas for six days over false rape allegations.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld bears $15.1m loss, but retail networks still “largely intact”

by Huntley Mitchell

Helloworld swung to a loss in the first six months of FY21, but it wasn’t all bad news for the ASX-listed group.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Traditional owners threaten closure of key Kakadu tourism sites over “mismanagement” by Parks Australia

Traditional owners of Kakadu National Park have warned they will close parts of the tourism hotspot after claims it has fallen into “disrepair”.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott names new CEO and president

After the unexpected death of Arne Sorenson last week, Marriott has chosen who will succeed him.

Share

CommentComments