Tourists to Australia Travel from all over the world to visit Uluru in spite of its remote desert location near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The Anangu people are traditional owners of Uluru and consider it a sacred site. They have been objecting to outsiders trampling all over it since 1985. That is when the park was returned to indigenous control. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board has now voted to end climbing.

The decision was a unanimous one in November 2017 and officials said it is "not a theme park." Therefore, it will be permanently off-limits for tourists. That is why hordes of them went to climb it for the last time. There were long queues and strong winds hampered the progress. This year, hundreds and thousands of visitors visited the iconic landmark until the end of June.

Sky News says there will be no longer be any trace of signs and climbing equipment around Uluru.

In case anyone tries to violate the ban, a hefty fine will penalize the individual. Incidentally, many tourists do not climb the steep red-ochre flanks but enjoy the scenery. However, the impending ban has seen a change in their attitude. They want to scale the heights and do not want to lose the opportunity of making the trek.

A climb up Uluru tests one's fitness

Scaling Uluru is fraught with dangers and there have been many casualties, mostly from falls and dehydration.

Its height is 1,142-ft and not all visitors climb. Estimates are that less than 20 percent make the daring move. In the words of Sammy Wilson, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board chairman, the site is not to be treated as a playground. Neither is it comparable to a theme park like Disneyland. It is a sacred location for some people and others must respect their sentiments. He adds that “We are not stopping Tourism, just this activity."

Sky News makes mention of a prominent indigenous academic Marcia Langton. She expressed her feelings when she saw images of people desperate to climb Uluru for a final time.

In her opinion, their actions revealed “their contempt for Aboriginal culture."

The sacred red rock attracts tourists

According to CNN, Uluru in Australia's Northern Territory attracts many tourists. Statistics of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park indicate 300,000 people visited Uluru in 2015, but only a handful of them (16.2 percent) climbed the rock. That works out to around 135 per day. It is taller than a tourist attraction like Eiffel Tower and London's Shard, is hot, slippery, and often faces strong winds.

Hence, it is dangerous for those who do not have adequate experience in climbing. Many of them suffer injuries and even die. A 76-year old Japanese tourist died in 2018 during climbing and next year, a 12-year-old girl fell while climbing the rock. She was with her family. However, not all of them climb Uluru. Some take a Segway tour around the base of the rock. Others join cultural tours, take a ride on a camel or go for a hike in nearby Watarrka National Park.

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