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Christmas Island's Mission To Reinvent Itself As A Tourist Hotspot

Once home to a notorious detention centre, the island's future is in eco-tourism.

20/06/2017 5:36 PM AEST | Updated 20/06/2017 5:41 PM AEST

The first eco-tourism lodge to operate within a Commonwealth National Park will be built on Christmas Island in an attempt to turn around the island's reputation.

The development is part a push by the Federal Government and local community to make Christmas Island a globally recognised eco-tourism destination.

Christmas Island is well known for its immigration processing centre, which housed hundreds of people who were seeking asylum in Australia.

Karenn Singer, the Manager of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, said the community is keen to show the world there's a lot more to the island.

"We've been working to maintain our focus on the natural attributes that are here, the multicultural community as well," she said.

"The detention centre is now off the front page of the news, so that's given a bit more breathing space for the island's other attributes and community to be featured," she said.

Christmas Island is renowned for its 45 million strong red crab migration, named as one of the '10 greatest natural wonders on earth' by Sir David Attenborough.

Getty Images
The annual red crab migration on Christmas Island.

The Federal Government released a Crown Land Management Plan in March this year in order to boost development and jobs on the island.

The plan will free up new land for business and development.

The Christmas Island community hopes eco-tourism will inject money into the economy as one of its main industries, phosphate mining, is nearing end of operations.

CITA
Christmas Island's untouched reefs are a big draw card for international tourists.

CITA
Christmas Island is one of the few places in the world where you can dive with whale sharks.

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