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Year: 2013







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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.


There are few names in Central Australian tourism as well known and respected as that of Keith Castle. Keith spent over 50 years working in tourism and developing the industry in Australia's red heart. Over the years he employed thousands of people from coach operators to office staff and overseas delegates, all of whom hold great admiration for Keith and his achievements in the tourism industry. Keith was initially employed to set up a ground operation in Central Australia for an airline but his enthusiasm and love of the Red Centre saw him do so much more. His legacy lives strong in todays tourism industry.
 
Keith teamed up with the Green brothers in their Ross River tourism venture for a while before taking up the position of manager of the newly formed Central Australian Tourism Association (CATA) of which he was also a foundation member.  Keith and the Green brothers had worked in an advisory capacity to TAA knowing there was a need for advertising to bring in more flights and tours. Keith was known as an enthusiastic  visionary for tourism and also worked tirelessly to bring Ansett Pioneer, who had taken over Pioneer Tuit Tours, into Central Australia. Keith understood that proper marketing was the the key to improving visitor numbers in Central Australia. The increased advertising saw a boom in overseas tour groups coming to the Centre. In those days the roads were dirt and Connellan  Airways (Connair) was the only way to fly from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock.  Connair and Keith Castle worked together to get Ansett Airways to step up and run flights to Ayers Rock (now Uluru).
 
CATA was basically split into two divisions with the Green brothers operating Ross River Tours and Jack Cotterill running Kings Canyon Tours. This left Keith to organise town tours and road trips to other scenic locations such as Palm Valley, Western MacDonnells and Ayers Rock - all still on dirt roads. In the 1970s, as tourism grew,  Keith lobbied governments to spend money on the upgrading of roads and encouraged Ansett and TAA to do even more advertising. Keith organised individuals as Bert Palmer and his wife to represent CATA on overseas promotions. As a result tourism continued to grow in Central Australia. Bill King took over CATA in the 1980s and it became AAT Kings. Keith stayed with them as the manager, a position he held for many years until he retired.
 
With the visions of Keith Castle, tourism soared to great heights in Central Australia and it spread from there right across the Northern Territory. Keith is both a tourism and transport icon.


 









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