Closure of IDC marks a new chapter for Christmas Island tourism
This week, the IDC, which opened its doors in 2008, will scale back to ‘hot contingency’ status, which means it will be closed to detainees, and only operational should the need arise.
Tourism operators on the tropical island 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 ten years,” said Lisa Preston, Chair of the Christmas Island Tourism Association. “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”, said 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 island has welcomed several recent tourism developments, including Swell Lodge, a luxury cabin perched atop a sea cliff, and Extra Divers, a global diving conglomerate which recently opened its first Australian dive centre on the island.
Even Aussie adventurer and entrepreneur Dick Smith is a fan. “I’ve been to many places on this Earth and Christmas Island is one of the most fantastic,” he said.