Australian tourism mainstay stays open
Uluru (or Ayers Rock) will remain open to climbers despite calls for prohibition.
However, environment minister Peter Garrett has set conditions for the closure of the major tourist attraction and national identifier:
- The number of people climbing drops below 20% of visitors (currently 38% climb)
- The climb falls from the primary reason for visiting, and
- New experiences are offered.
Up to 400,000 people visit Uluru annually and such a ban would likely impact tourism operators and Northern Territory tourism generally. Those that do climb ignore signs placed by Aboriginals asking visitors not to climb out of respect for the cultural significance. The climb is currently closed over 300 days per year for a variety of reasons including extreme heat, wind or slippery conditions.
Its good news that theyve managed to stave off a push by southern environmentalists to closing climbing Ayers Rock, but Im disappointed there should be some kind of cap set in the future… I think if people want to climb the rock, they should be allowed to climb the rock despite how few of them want to do it,” said politician Dave Tollner.