Monday, 8 October 2018

Come and visit us, say the good people of Christmas Island

Most of us associate Christmas Island with an immigration detention centre of immense cruelty that cost $400 million of Australian taxpayers' money to build. 
But now, after decade of being associated with Australian Government behaviour that shocked the international community, Christmas Island's tourism industry finally has the opportunity to shine.

This week, the island's Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), which opened its doors in 2008, will scale back to 'hot contingency' status, which means it will be closed to detainees, and only become operational should the need arise.
Tourism operators on the tropical island, located 2600 kilometres north-west of Perth off the coast of Indonesia, hope this change in status of the centre means the spotlight can once again be shone on the island's natural wonders.
“Our industry has had to endure many challenges during the past 10 years,” says Lisa Preston, chair of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, adding “it's great to be able to finally start getting our positive messages out into our markets”.
Earlier this week, the tropical island celebrated its 60th anniversary as an Australian territory.

“The closure of the IDC is the ultimate birthday present”, says Preston. "We are now poised to start developing our island's long-term vision for the future, which means embracing tourism and the new opportunities that it will bring for all."
The closure of the IDC is especially welcomes by several recent tourism developments on the island, including Swell Lodge, a luxury cabin perched atop a sea cliff that is attracting visitors from as far as Europe, and Extra Divers, a global diving conglomerate which recently opened its first Australian dive centre on the island.
Christmas Island hopes to soon become better known for its marine life (you can swim, snorkel and scuba dive with whale sharks), deserted beaches and wildlife than its detainees. 
For more information please visit www.christmas.net.au

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