Published on : Saturday, January 18, 2020
The number of travelers booking visits to Australia has declined 10-20 per cent following the bushfires and the slump will cost Australian economy an estimated 4.5 billion Australian dollars (USD 3 billion) this year, said the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).
Australia is expected to lose billions of dollars in tourism revenue with international visitors canceling trips in droves due to bushfires raging across the country.
“International visitors are cancelling because of fears around air quality, safety and the impact fires have had on our tourism offering as well as a lack of certainty on how long it will take for us to recover,” said ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley.
ATEC said that the disaster have impacted from the US, UK and Europe in the hardest way, coinciding with the December-February period, which traditionally witnesses 50 per cent of the annual tourist bookings from those markets. Shelley said that the industry and government need to send out an urgent message that many key tourism destinations are largely unaffected by the wildfires.
“There is no doubt our industry will take a hit,” Shelley said. “The sooner we can communicate a strong, positive message, the better,” he added.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that details of a tourism boost would be unveiled next week. Tourism Australia was forced to suspend an optimistic advertising campaign launched in the middle of the crisis featuring pop star Kylie Minogue.