Tourists will be banned from climbing Australia's UIuru

Nov 02, 2017, 00:31
Tourists will be banned from climbing Australia's UIuru

The traditional owners of Uluru will today decide whether or not to close the rock permanently to climbers.

In the Anangu tradition, Uluru is a sacred place and climbing it is inherently disrespectful.

The board's chairman Sammy Wilson was expected to read a speech during the meeting saying that its Indigenous owners have felt intimidated into keeping Uluru open for climbing.

Since the 1930s, the spectacular monolith in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has been climbable for tourists, despite staunch opposition from the land's traditional owners.

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Uluru now has around 300,000 visitors each year.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16per cent of visitors climbed the rock between 2011 and 2015, down from 74per cent in the 1990s.

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - that's about in the middle of the country.

The entirety of Uluru is a sacred area and the site where the climb begins is also a sacred men's area.

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"Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration".

Australian tourists are most likely to climb the rock followed by the Japanese, according to the park's figures.

While there have been concerns over the ban's impact on tourism, the number of visitors who climb Uluru have steadily dropped, largely thanks to increased awareness and education. "Let's come together; let's close it together", he said.

"Perhaps most disturbingly, many people die climbing Uluru".

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