Senator Simon Birmingham has today urged the Rudd Government to rule out closure of one of Australia’s most iconic tourism experiences.
His call follows release today by the Director of National Parks of a draft Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park Management Plan, canvassing closure of the Uluru climb.
“Climbing Ayers Rock, or Uluru, is one of Australia’s oldest tourist activities and remains one of its most iconic,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Tourism is increasingly an experience-driven industry. People want experiences, not just photographs, in exchange for their tourism dollar and the Uluru climb is one of the most unique experiences available here in Australia or indeed anywhere.
“The Rudd Government should give an assurance that this experience will remain available to the 350,000 people a year visiting the Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park, more than half of whom are from overseas.
“The Rudd Government has already halved funding for the Australian Tourism Development Program (ATDP) and slugged tourists more through increases in Passenger Movement Charge and visa fees.
“Having done plenty already to cripple a crucial and iconic Australian industry, the Rudd Government must not cause more pain by allowing one of our most enduring tourism experiences to be withdrawn from the marketplace.”