Monika Billen, a German tourist from Cologne was on her dream trip exploring the Australian Outback. Last time anyone registered her was on New Year’s day at 10.30 when she left the Desert Palms Alice Springs Hotel.

Desert Palms Alice Springs, Australia is a 3.5 star outback tourist motel. Monika enjoyed the glorious Australian Outback sunsets from her villa and was going on a track on a remote hiking trail on January 1. She never returned to the motel and a dramatic search by Australian authorities was conducted by Australian authorities. She is believed to have hitched and walked her way to the Emily Gap, a site popular with tourists in a remote nature park famed for its rocky ravines and gorges.

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Police believe a motorist may have seen her looking dehydrated and a disorientated as early as January 2.

Officers were looking for her with drones for almost two weeks.
Finally today the search for the 62-year-old Cologne tourist stopped without success.

“Despite our efforts no further evidence has been found to indicate Monika is still out there,” Northern Territory Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary said in a statement on Saturday.

“Neither is there any evidence to indicate foul play. The last physical sighting we have for her is the Emily Gap and surrounding area, which we have thoroughly searched.”

Temperatures have soared above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) during the southern hemisphere summer in the central desert region. Police said Billen had only a yellow cashmere scarf to protect against the scorching sun.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.