Published on : Thursday, February 11, 2021
In Australia’s iconic Blue Mountains, the Lunar New Year period is generally the time of the year when it experiences maximum rush of tourists with many Asian visitors coming to ring in the new year. However in 2021 with closed international borders due to the COVID-19 and still recovering from the dangerous bushfires of 2020, the normally busy cableways, the steepest railways of the world and glass-floored skyway carriages are currently wearing a deserted look.
The operators of the steepest railways in the world and glass floored cable cars explains that its nature park is almost empty as the borders of Australia has closed down over the coronavirus spread. This step will keep out the yearly rush of Lunar New Year tourists in 2021.
To quote Anthea Hammon, the chief executive of privately-owned Scenic World, “Normally, Chinese New Year we would be absolutely bustling with all our delightful visitors from across Asia.” “We’ve seen a really significant, absolutely complete decline.”
Koreans, about 250,000, were the biggest group of international visitors before Australia shut down its international borders, Hammon informed Reuters, as another 230,000 moved from China, closely followed by groups from Japan and Taiwan.
For the revenue loss from 600,000 international visitors, the domestic market will not suffice to the Australian attraction every year, she added, and other tourism operators approved the same.
“Right now we are only operating one day a week and we’re probably lucky to have 10 passengers a day, on that one day,” said Jason Cronshaw, the owner of the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus Company.
Normally, his buses carry 8,000 passengers over the Lunar New Year period, Cronshaw informed Reuters, as he rode the top deck of an empty ride.
He also said that the absence of spending by the tourists from Asia was impairing the entire picturesque area near Sydney.
“They would, of course, spend extra visiting Scenic World, going to the local restaurants and cafes, and some of them also staying overnight in the Blue Mountains during that Chinese New Year period, and that again is all but gone,” he added.
Still, some people in the area are relieved to see fewer tourists.