Corona grapples Australia tourism

 Wednesday, March 18, 2020 


The plagued tourism industry of Australia is hemorrhaging almost $3 billion every month as visitors call off their vacations in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak.


Already losing billions because of devastating bushfires this year, tour operators, hotels and attractions are struggling tremendously to stay steady.


These statistics comes as Australia recorded 368 cases of the respiratory virus, killing five people.


The destructive effects could see the sector losing $3 billion every month all over Australia, Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond told the Sydney Morning Herald.


To add more to the fire, travel restrictions, self-isolating and flight cancellations have left the biggest tourist attractions in Australia almost vacant.


At the height of the bushfire crisis in December 2019, there were 15,000 fewer visitors to New South Wales than same month in 2018.


Also in Jan 2020, there was a marked decline of 2,300 visitors, compared to January 2019.


The bushfires raged across 5.4 million hectares in NSW alone, witnessing the numbers falling sharp to all the popular destinations such as the Blue Mountains and the south coast.


Businesses had hoped for rebirth in terms of visitor numbers after the fires. However, global fears about coronavirus have stopped people coming in Australia.


Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared that all new arrivals to Australia would have to self-isolate for 14 days.


Usually, China – the epicenter of coronavirus – represents around $12.3 billion in annual tourism.


This is about one-third of Australia’s total tourism but travel from China has been banned for weeks.


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