Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

Minister for Tourism
Minister for Resources and Energy

Uluru tourism plan maps out exciting directions

Joint media release
13 October 2010

Exciting new visitor experiences are on the cards for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, with the release today of a plan to guide future tourism development in the park.

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, said the plan - Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Tourism Directions: Stage 1 - plots out the steps for developing new experiences that will define Uluru into the future.

“This is an exciting time at Uluru – there are some great ideas coming from Anangu traditional owners who want to share their culture with visitors,” Mr Burke said.

“A range of new business ideas are flagged in this first action plan, including potential for guided overnight walks, an Aboriginal arts and crafts market, bicycle tours and animal tracking lessons for kids.

“This tourism directions plan is the result of extensive discussions between the park, traditional owners and the tourism industry, and everyone will continue working together to implement it.

“Traditional owners and tour operators can build great partnerships, but this is a long-term thing. It will take time for sustainable businesses to grow, but work is already underway.”

Welcoming the plan’s release, Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson underlined the valuable indigenous employment opportunities tourism offers local communities.

“Uluru is one of the “must-see” destinations for many of Australia’s domestic and international visitors - it attracts 148,000 domestic overnight visitors and 172,000 international visitors a year.

“Through the National Landscapes Program, the Australian Government has been working to ensure visitors have a high quality authentic indigenous tourism experience- that’s what people want and we need to ensure Government and industry work closely with the local community to meet their expectations.”

Alison Hunt from the park’s board of management said people are already buzzing as the park gears up for some important milestones.

“It’s going to be an amazing year – between rumours of a possible visit from Oprah and all our preparations for the handback anniversary, everyone’s pretty excited!” Ms Hunt said.

“On 26 October we’re throwing a big festival for visitors, celebrating 25 years since Uluru was handed back to its traditional owners.

“There will be dancing, bands and lots of great activities for the kids. Anangu will be teaching bush skills around the firepits and there’ll be food stalls and traditional paintings – it’s a festival you don’t want to miss!”

For a copy of the tourism directions plan and more information on the handback festival visit www.environment.gov.au/parks/uluru/news.html