Australia has faced an unprecedented bushfire crisis in recent months. But the country is now looking to recovery and tourism has a big part to play.
In just a few short months, millions of acres of land were burned in hundreds of separate fires, thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed, and at least 34 people were killed. Up to 80 per cent of the famed Blue Mountains World Heritage area was burnt along with more than 50 per cent of the ancient Gondwana rainforests in Queensland. It is estimated that up to one billion native animals were killed.
As well as this extreme physical damage, the Australian tourism industry has also been served a devastating blow. Popular tourist areas were some of the hardest hit and the iconic Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island was completely destroyed. The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) predicts that, by the end of 2020, the impact of the bushfires on the industry will be at least $4.5 billion.
At the same time, tourism is one of the ways that the country can bounce back. A number of industry initiatives are currently underway, aiming to draw visitors back to the country and in particular to regional Australia. These include:
- Tourism Australia, Holiday Here This Year
- Destination NSW, Now’s the Time to Love NSW
- South Australia, Book Them Out
- Visit Victoria, A Short Stay Goes A Long Way
- #spendwiththem and #staywiththem social media campaigns
- Qantas launching new regional flights to affected areas
These campaigns all have the same objective – to let the world know that Australia is safe and ready to welcome visitors. Fires are no longer burning and clean up is well underway. Domestic and international tourists can play a key role in rebuilding devastated communities.
At Luxperience, we have always championed Australia as one of the world’s most captivating tourist destinations. This year, we will be focusing on top travel experiences around the country and we encourage our LuxCommunity to tell their clients that Australia is open for business.