Published on Monday, January 20, 2020

Australia's tourism industry to get 40-million-pound aid package

Australia's tourism industry is to get a A$76 million (£40 million) aid package.

The country has been badly affected by the devastating wildfires, which has knocked its tourism.

Forward bookings from international markets are down by up to 40%.

The domestic market has fared even worse with bookings down 70%.

Financial damage to the industry is put at A$1 billion and may swell to A$4.5 billion (£2.3 billion) by the end of the year, according to the Australian Tourism Export Council.

Tourism minister Simon Birmingham said: "International visitors are especially critical in places like Kangaroo Island or tropical North Queensland. These are destinations that rely upon international tourists and that's why we have got to recover those markets as quickly as we can.

Birmingham said the money is an 'initial' stimulus package and 'may need to be additional support and funding as we work through this recovery.'

There will be A$20 million spent on a new ad campaign targeting key overseas markets and funding for the international media hosting program.

The industry generates about 3% of annual economic output.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "Our federal response to these devastating bushfires is comprehensive and unprecedented."

Heavy rains in Eastern Australia offered some relief from the fires but also brought flash flooding which has closed some roads.

A multi-million-pound ad campaign featuring Kylie Minogue, launched at the end of 2019, was recently pulled after it was deemed inappropriate in light of the ongoing bush fire devastation.


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