Uluru is set for a tourism boost with Virgin Australia announcing two new direct services from Melbourne and Brisbane to be introduced from June next year.
Launched in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (operators of Ayers Rock Resort), the new services will inject more than 62,000 seats per year to the Red Centre, connecting tourists directly to the spiritual heartland of Australia, while providing more choice and value to travellers.
The new services will also support the growth of the Indigenous Tourism sector, contributing to the Northern Territory’s more than $3 billion visitor expenditure.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was announced as one of the Top 52 Places to Travel in the world this year by The New York Times. The region plays host to a raft of internationally-renowned tourism experiences including the much-loved Field of Light Installation, the new Wintjiri Wiru cultural storytelling experience, and an array of arts and cultural tours for travellers of all ages.
Virgin Australia CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, said Uluru is somewhere everyone should visit for its cultural significance and natural beauty.
“Uluru is a special place in Australia and a cultural landmark that identifies this wonderful country to the world. We look forward to once again connecting Australians and international tourists alike, to the spiritual heartland of Australia,” she said.
“We are also proud to be offering direct flights to Uluṟu from Melbourne and Brisbane for the first time. The forecast demand from these cities, coupled with excellent connectivity from our international airline partners, will provide a much-needed tourism boost to the region. Greater competition in the market and more seat capacity to Uluru will also provide travellers with more choice and value next time they fly to the Red Centre.
“We carried over 19 million passengers domestically last year and we are excited to be adding more destinations to our network that connect Australians and open a new gateway of travel between our most popular tourist destinations and the world,” she said.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia CEO, Matt Cameron-Smith, said that the return of Virgin Australia to the spiritual heart of the nation represents significant progress for tourism to Central Australia and particularly for Indigenous employment, tourism and training at Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru.
“Whether it’s still on the bucket list or a much-loved destination, visiting Uluru is a must-do for international and Australian travellers alike. These new routes deliver more choice for travel to the NT, but also an abundance of convenient international connections through Virgin Australia’s global network of partners,” he said.
“Demand to visit Uluru is incredibly strong – driven by a wealth of amazing cultural experiences including the world-first $10 million cultural drone and storytelling experience, Wintjiri Wiru – and we can’t wait to roll out the red carpet for Virgin Australia’s return to the Red Centre.”