“Australian tourism is facing its biggest challenge in living memory.” These words came from Prime Minister Scott Morrison today.
In both Australia and western North America, climate experts say, fires will continue burning with increased frequency as warming temperatures and drier weather transform ecosystems around the globe.
The changing landscape has major implications for Australia’s diverse wildlife. The fires in Eungella National Park threaten “frogs and reptiles that don’t live anywhere else.
Fires typically burn through the forest in a patchwork pattern, leaving unburned refuges from which plant and animal species can spread. The fires in Australia are consuming everything in their path and leaving little room for that kind of recovery.
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott on Sunday said tourism was the best way to promote economic recovery in towns impacted by fires.
76 Million Australian Dollars assistance to rebuild the travel and tourism industry initially are seen to protect jobs, small businesses, and local economies by getting tourists traveling in Australia again.
Visitors can help to keep local businesses alive and protect local jobs right across the country and especially in those areas so directly devastated such as Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills, the Blue Mountains and right along the NSW Coast and East Gippsland in Victoria.
The tourism recovery package includes $20 million for a nationally coordinated domestic marketing initiative and $25 million for a global marketing campaign to drive international tourism.
A further $10 million will be provided to promote regional tourism events across bushfire-affected areas.
Through Tourism Australia, the government is providing an additional $9.5 million for its international media and travel trade hosting program, as well as $6.5 million to support tourism businesses attending at its annual trade event.
Australia’s diplomatic network is also receiving $5 million to promote the country being open for international education and exports as well as travel.
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham is encouraging Australians to get out there and spend the next long weekend or school holiday within Australia to support tourism businesses.
He also wants to ensure key international markets understand Australia is still open for business.
Most Australian tourism attractions are untouched by bushfires. It comes as the NSW Rural Fire Service and police on Sunday gave the all-clear for businesses to re-open in the Southern Highlands after the 21,200-hectare Morton blaze impacted towns including Bundanoon and Wingello two weeks ago.