Uluru-Kata Tjuta Park receives major awards

Uluru, the spiritual heart of Australia.
Uluru, the spiritual heart of Australia. Michael Nelson | Parks Australia

ULURU-Kata Tjuta National Park has taken out two of the top prizes at the 2017 Alice Springs Airport Tourism Central Australia Awards.

The park won the Yubu Napa Large Tourism Operator Award and the Centrecorp Indigenous Tourism Award.

Uluru traditional owner and park chairman Sammy Wilson collected the awards on behalf of everyone who looks after the park, speaking passionately in his traditional language of Pitjantjatjara and English.

"We're working together - the Australian Government, the park, the board, the people - we're all working together to welcome visitors to come and see us, see what we're doing, sharing our place with people from around the world. Together, this is our future,” Mr Wilson said.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is jointly managed by Anangu and the director of National Parks, Sally Barnes.

Ms Barnes said the awards again recognised Uluru and Kata Tjuta as two of the country's hallmark attractions, providing world-class tourism experiences in keeping with its world-heritage listed natural and cultural values.

"Uluru is a place of deep spiritual significance and in so many ways represents the spiritual heart of Australia,” she said.

"It is one of the must-visit places of the Northern Territory.

"All Australians get a chance to enjoy this Red Centre icon because of the very hard work that goes on behind the scenes by traditional owners and park staff.

"This award is recognition of their efforts, from providing cultural tours for visitors, to maintaining rock art and sacred sites, keeping visitors safe and looking after the landscapes, plants and animals of the park.

"It's no wonder we're seeing the highest visitor numbers this year that we've had since the global financial crisis.

"This financial year to date we've seen more than 100,000 people already pass through our gate - to put that into perspective, just seven years ago we recorded less than 75,000 people coming through in the same timeframe.”

Ms Barnes said she and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board of management also congratulated the other award winners - including Uluru Segway Tours and SEIT Outback Australia and ATG Downunder for the new Uluru Fork & View experience.

"Less than two years ago we announced we wanted your big ideas for the park. To see some of those ideas not only come to fruition but be rewarded as valuable experiences in such a short timeframe is also a tribute to the hard work of all to make our park a destination not to be missed,” she said.

Topics:  alice springs national park tourism tourism awards uluru

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