Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, will soon be closed to visitors in Australia. By October 2019 of World Heritage Site will no longer be open for climbing. The decision was voted into effect by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board.
Part of the reasoning for this decision is that the rock is sacred to Aboriginal Australians. Eight of the park board members happen to be Aboriginals. The decision is seen as a positive one in the sense that the wishes of the Aboriginals are being respected.
Climbing Uluru has never been entirely safe, either. Since 1958 36 people have died climbing it, with the most recent death in 2010. Luckily, only two out of ten visitors to the site actually have intentions to climb it, which is a large decrease from the past intentions of visitors. The others are happy to take in its beauty from a distance, and beautiful it is.
— Anthony Stewart (@anthonystewart) November 1, 2017
Tourism Australia’s managing director John O’Sullivan expressed that sentiment behind the change.
“It’s always been the wishes of the traditional owners that visitors to the park don’t climb to the top of Uluru, and I think that’s something both domestic and international tourists will understand and respect.”