Tourists to be banned from climbing Australia's most famous attraction

Sky News understands tourists will be banned from climbing Uluru on 26 October 2019

Climbing on Australia's iconic Uluru landmark will be banned from October 2019, authorities said on Wednesday.

The board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park voted unanimously to end the climb because of indigenous sensitivities, the BBC reported.

Wilson, who is the park's board chairman, said visitors still would be welcomed.

'The traditional owners of the rock have had concerns over the years, ' he said. "We are not stopping tourism, just this activity".

'It is an extremely important place, not a theme park like Disneyland'.

It also warns of the dangers of climbing Uluru, including that many have died while scaling the rock.

He said the Anangu people had felt intimidation over the years to keep the climb open because it was a top tourist attraction, but they wanted to close it because of its cultural significance.

"Please don't hold us to ransom".

"This decision is for both Anangu and non-Anangu together to feel proud about; to realize, of course, it's the right thing to close the "playground".

It's within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta formation. According to the board, only 16 per cent of visitors to the national park climbed Uluru from 2011 to 2015.

Federal Indigenous Affairs minister Nigel Scullion said he was comfortable with any decision by the traditional landowners and was not anxious about losing tourism in the area.

"They are very focused on ensuring this cultural decision is a good decision for them culturally and the impact on employment".

Around 300,000 people visit each year, with Australians and then Japanese most likely to climb.

The ban will take effect on October 26, 2019.

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