As Australia faces its worst wildfire season in decades, Tourism Australia is reminding the travel industry that most tourism-related businesses remain open, during a time when the support of visitors is more important than ever before.
“Whilst bushfires continue to impact parts of Australia, many areas are unaffected and most tourism businesses are still open,” said Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Phillipa Harrison, who was appointed to the role in September. “It is more important than ever that we rally around our communities and the tourism sector who may have been impacted.”
With fire conditions constantly changing, Harrison added that travellers can check the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology for fire updates at www.bom.gov.au. Specific advice by region is available from the Rural Fire Service, National Parks and relevant State or Territory emergency services.
Travellers are also encouraged to speak with local tourism operators and staff at local Visitor Information Centres for advice about local conditions and how best to enjoy their time in Australia, Harrison added.
“Like all Australians our sympathies go out to the families and communities who are impacted by the fires, and our gratitude grows stronger by the day for the front line services facing the fires head on,” Harrison said.
Fires have devastated many areas across the continent since the fire season began in July, with the state of New South Wales the hardest hit, where a state of emergency has been declared.
More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged and at least 24 people have died as a result, while Australia’s unique wildlife has been devastated, with an estimated 500 million animals killed in the fires.
While the country's major airports remain open, many of Australia's national parks have been closed during the fires, with updated provided at the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
The Canadian government is advising travellers to monitor local media regarding the fires and to be prepared to modify their travel plans as a result.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!