UPDATE - the Uluru climbing ban is here!
The climbing ban for Uluru that was announced months ago finally arrives. The ban goes into effect Saturday, October 26, 2019.
By Jamie Tarabay
The New York Times
October 25, 2019
ORIGINAL POST (July 19, 2019)
“Outsiders are cursed for disturbing the red-colored Uluru monolith reaching for the sky”
Governments and agencies that oversee some historic cities have in recent years developed policies to limit the number of tourists that visit them. From Barcelona to Dubrovnik, Venice to Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, the growing global economy has led to dramatic increases in international tourism, threatening to overwhelm historic cities and inadvertently harming the tourist experience. This issue has even spread to national parks in the United States. Now the issue of over-tourism has reached a remote sandstone outcrop in Northern Australia (the 2007 photo of Uluru is in the public domain).
In 1873, Australian surveyor William Gosse spied a large sandstone outcrop in the Northern Territory and named it Ayers Rock after an Australian government official. The name of Ayers Rock, however, belies the knowledge and position of this dramatic landscape feature in the cultural history of the Pitjiantiatiara Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area who had long referred to the outcrop as Uluru. As European settlers moved to occupy much of the island continent, the Australian government eventually (in the first quarter of the 20th century) moved to set aside large amounts of land in the Northern Territory, Southern Australia, and Western Australia as reserves for aboriginal populations. Nevertheless, Ayers Rock became a popular tourist destination for the settlers of European descent with little regard for the cultural meaning of the landscape to the aboriginal populations.
By the mid-20th century, the Australian government sought to increase the economy of this remote region through tourism, constructing roads, establishing motels, and developing promotional campaigns to popularize Ayers Rock. Ayers Rock National Park was established in 1950 and it was expanded to become the Ayers Rock – Mount Olga National Park in 1958, in part by removing some land from an aboriginal reserve. Over succeeding decades, the Australian government favored tourism over traditional use of the land by aboriginal people.
In 1976, the Australian government passed the Aboriginal Lands (Northern Territory) Act to restore some aboriginal land and land-use rights but it was not until 1985 that the Australian government returned by deed some of this land to the Anangu people, who by agreement leased back the land to the Australian government for 99 years with an agreement for joint-administration. In 1987, the famous sandstone outcrop was added to the World Heritage List as the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, returning the site again to its historic aboriginal name.
Despite this supposed joint management agreement, continuous conflict between the popularity of Uluru with tourists and the Anangu focus on the sacred nature of the landscape feature led eventually to a decision to ban altogether the popular hikes to the top of the 1,100-ft high outcrop. The ban is scheduled to go into effect in October 2019, a move welcomed by the Anangu people, but the impending onset of the climbing bad has led to an dramatic increase in tourists seeking to reach the summit of Uluru before it is no longer allowed.
By Alex Horton
The Washington Post
July 11, 2019
ALSO SEE BELOW - How much would you pay to see Venice?
Italian officials have been working on various proposals to address two of the most daunting threats to the historic city of Venice - the rise in both the sea level and the number of tourists visiting the city. Now, Venice is scheduled to address the latter problem by charging fees to tourists who visit the city each day, beginning in May 2019. The fee, which will fluctuate around a total of 10 Euros, will not apply to tourists who stay overnight in Venice but only those who visit during the day without an overnight stay. Initially, the fee will be attached to the costs of travel tickets (taxi, flights, cruise tickets, etc.) but the city does hope eventually to establish a reservation system to help monitor the number of tourists who intend to visit the city. (The view in the 2015 photo above by Behn Lieu Song is shared here under CC BY-SA 3.0).
By Meredith Carey
Conde Nast Traveler
February 6, 2019
For related information, see the original post below -
Governments and agencies that oversee some historic cities have in recent years developed policies to limit the number of tourists that visit them. From Barcelona to Dubrovnik, Venice to Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, the growing global economy has led to dramatic increases in international tourism, threatening to overwhelm historic cities and inadvertently harming the tourist experience. This issue has even spread to national parks in the United States.
Perhaps no other city has felt the impact of heavy tourism than Venice, the Italian medieval city spread across several islands in the Venetian Lagoon. For years, complaints focused on the depletion of local businesses that served Venetian residents that were replaced by tourism-related businesses, resulting in a tourist experience that focuses more on tourism than the historic city itself. Last year, the Italian government moved to ban large cruise ships from entering the lagoon because they dwarfed the low-rise city and seriously affected the viewscape. (The view in the 2015 photo above by Behn Lieu Song, shared here under CC BY-SA 3.0, often is marred by large cruise ships in the canal just beyond the columns)
Recently, Venetian authorities conducted a short-term experiment spread over a long weekend. Saturday, April 28, the city installed turnstiles at key access points to regulate the number of tourists that could enter at some locations and allowing only residents and other regular visitors at others. The final results of the experiment have not been compiled or released, so it is not known how tourists whose way was blocked reacted. But some locals, quite angry with the restrictions, chanted “Free Venice” as they began tearing out the newly installed turnstiles.
By Alistair Walsh
April 28, 2018
By Julia Buckley
April 29, 2018
By International Heritage New Network
November 10, 2017
By Kiernan Corcoran
November 9, 2017
By Jason Horowitz
August 2, 2017