Spike in visitors to Uluru as climbing ban looms

Uluru is seeing a surge in visitors who have come ahead of the climbing ban which comes into effect on October 26.

Speaking to the ABC, park manager Mike Misso said they were preparing for a dip in numbers after the ban is enforced but are preparing a new strategy to lure visitors in the future.

“What we expect is a bit of a blip because this is people coming for their bucket list,” Misso said.

“That might be people who were going to come in the next three to five years who are coming now. But we still expect numbers to remain high after the climb closure.”

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park management has put forward some of its plans to re-define the destination, with more focus on culture and history at the park.

New ideas were being negotiated with commercial tour operators, including ventures between traditional owners and businesses.

“These ideas will provide visitors with fantastic experiences based on culture and nature but also give benefits for traditional owners,” Misso said.

Park board chair and traditional owner Sammy Wilson said “generation after generation will want to visit Uluru”.

“We’re not moving the rock away from visitors to come visit us,” he told the ABC. “It’s just this one thing.”