'Ready and waiting': Tourism boss says Australia still open amid bushfire crisis

As catastrophic bushfires blaze across the country, the tourism industry is taking an enormous blow - but not all hope is lost, according to one expert.

Hazy images like this have been putting tourists off visiting Australia

Hazy images like this have been putting tourists off visiting Australia. Source: AAP

Australia amid ongoing bushfires and the United States upgrades its travel advisory level, Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond says the country is well and truly still open. 

Ms Osmond told SBS News travel warnings were important to advice international visitors, but tourists should not avoid the nation.

Tourists snap a photo of a smoke-filled Sydney Harbour. Tourists are staying away due to the bushfires.
Tourists snap a photo of a smoke-filled Sydney Harbour. Tourists are staying away due to the bushfires. Source: AAP


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"It is important also to speak with their accommodation providers to understand what is happening in the region they are intending to visit and if the area has been affected," she said. 



"Whilst we have some of our most beautiful areas impacted by the bushfires, there are many others that are not, and they are ready and waiting to meet you."

The United States is warning its citizens to exercise increased caution when travelling to Australia, due to the fires. The US Department of State upgraded its travel advisory for Australia to level two - the same as Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. 

It comes as Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham pleaded with residents and holidaymakers to not ignore fire-affected businesses and communities, and Tourism Australia last week pulled an

Ms Osmond said: "We want everyone to take care, listen to the advice provided and assess their travel arrangements base on this advice." 


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2 min read
Published 10 January 2020 at 6:45pm
By Charlotte Lam