Tourism body calls for positive campaign to counter $4.5 billion booking shortfall

Tourism body calls for positive campaign to counter $4.5 billion booking shortfall

Softened bookings from international tourists due to the bushfires could have an estimated $4.5 billion impact on the industry. 

The main body representing the tourism export sector has called for a positive messaging campaign highlighting that Australia is 'open for business' as international tourism wanes.

The ongoing bushfires in Australia have softened tourism and resulted in potential travellers cancelling their trips according to the Australian Tourism Expert Council (ATEC).

The Council undertook a survey of its members, primarily Australian tourism businesses and inbound tour operators, with 70 per cent of respondents recording significant cancellations of travel to Australia by internationals.

ATEC managing director Peter Shelley (pictured) says the softened bookings from international tourists could have an estimated $4.5 billion impact on the industry.

"The value of cancellations on individual tourism businesses and inbound tour operators managing itineraries for travellers range from $5,000 to $500,000 with significant impacts seen across key inbound markets with US, UK and European inbound markets being the most impacted," says Shelley.

"International visitors are cancelling because of fears around air quality, safety and the impact fires have had on our tourism offering as well as a lack of certainty on how long it will take for us to recover, so the sooner we can communicate a strong, positive message, the better."

The bushfires have been a burden on the tourism industry, considering around 50 per cent of tourists from the UK, Europe, and the US come between December and the end of February.

"Timing is of the essence in implementing a campaign of positive images and messages to regain consumer confidence, especially in these markets, before this traditional booking window closes," says Shelley.

"There is no doubt our industry will take a hit, what we need is a clearly defined, well-resourced and expertly executed recovery strategy starting right now in order to stem the flow of cancellations and regain the confidence of intending international travellers."

ATEC has started a social media campaign under the hashtag #bushfirebounceback for businesses and products that are open for business and ready to welcome international visitors to Australia.

Tourism Australia had previously launched a UK-oriented tourism campaign starring Kylie Minogue, but it was suspended early last week out of sensitivity towards the victims of the bushfires. 

Earlier this week tourism operator Event Hospitality & Entertainment (ASX: EVT) reopened its summer operations at Thredbo after bushfires around the Kosciuszko National Park forced a closure at the beginning of the year.

"Whilst the impact of the temporary closure is not currently material to the Group's earnings, the Group expects a slow business recovery whilst the broader Park area remains closed," Event said.

"Thredbo will remain in daily contact with NSW RFS and NPWS to stay informed on bush fire activity and conditions."

Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

Business News Australia

Enjoyed this article?

Don't miss out on the knowledge and insights to be gained from our daily news and features.

Subscribe today to unlock unlimited access to in-depth business coverage, expert analysis, and exclusive content across all devices.

Support independent journalism and stay informed with stories that matter to you.

Subscribe now and get 50% off your first year!

Four time-saving tips for automating your investment portfolio
Partner Content
In today's fast-paced investment landscape, time is a valuable commodity. Fortunately, w...
Etoro
Advertisement

Related Stories

"Ugly" lemon and lime juice cube startup Naked Rivals squeezes $3m from angel investor

"Ugly" lemon and lime juice cube startup Naked Rivals squeezes $3m from angel investor

A husband-and-wife founder team, whose lemon and lime juice cubes s...

GreenFort, Gaw Capital join forces on $800m joint venture

GreenFort, Gaw Capital join forces on $800m joint venture

Brisbane-based alternative real estate fund manager GreenFort Capit...

Riverside backs Wollongong IT powerhouse VITG as M&A opportunities beckon

Riverside backs Wollongong IT powerhouse VITG as M&A opportunities beckon

Virtual IT Group (VITG), a Wollongong-based managed service provide...

Booktopia extends share trading suspension as critical funding announcement looms

Booktopia extends share trading suspension as critical funding announcement looms

Just as so many Booktopia (ASX: BKG) customers had to wait longer t...