There’s nothing inherently wrong with traveling. There are many benefits to tourism: increased revenue for the locals, appreciation of culture, and the preservation of tradition.
Still, some places don’t need any more tourists — and one such landmark is in Australia. Which specific spot is it? And why are tourists no longer allowed?
The Iconic Uluru or Ayers Rock
Others think it’s a mere gigantic rock, but Uluru is so much more than that. For the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people in the region, it’s a sacred site in need of utter respect.
Uluru is far from an unknown landmark — even UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage Site. Likewise, people got word of the place as early as the 1930s.
Since then, people kept visiting Australia and traveling to Uluru to climb it. Ayers Rock is unavailable at times, but nobody ever though a permanent closure was possible until now.
The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board reported earlier in September that Uluru will close down for climbing for good. But did the board make the right decision?
Disrespect Has Consequences
We believe they made the correct choice. For the Aboriginal peoples in the region, it’s a reckoning that takes into account all the things that happened in the past 80 years or so.
You see, the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people have treated Uluru with respect for thousands of years. They are the ones who have a long history with the Ayers Rock.
They believe that Uluru connects them to their spiritual ancestors. The rock formation is an essential part of life — it reminds them of their way of life.
But not every tourist visiting Uluru knows about this. Many have climbed the rock and left human waste. Some took their clothes off on top of the rock while others played golf.
This shouldn’t happen to a place that the indigenous people of Australia hold dearly. Thus, the board did the right thing. This time, money didn’t win over tradition.
Closing in October 2019
Tourists can no longer climb Uluru, but there are still many things to do at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Some of these activities include camel riding and viewing the sunset or the sunrise.
Once officials close down access to Uluru in October, the indigenous people can rest well. They know that their ancestors won’t have to tolerate rowdy people anymore.
Plus, tourists should be happy that climbing to Uluru is no longer allowed. It’s a dangerous climb that’s already claimed the lives of 36 people.
The Aboriginal people do not want the tourists to climb the sacred site. But they don’t want them to get hurt as well. As hosts, they ensure that visitors receive safety reminders.
And now, the people working in the national park can focus on other things. For one, Parks Australia noted that tour guides must take a course before performing the job.
Charles Darwin University made the course. They designed it to ensure that guides know all about the Aboriginal culture. This is a crucial step in showing respect toward the Aboriginal people.
Simply put, it helps those who are not part of the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people to tell their stories accurately. Respect is important, and everyone should know how to show it.