Australia will rebuild its regional tourism industry "when the time is right", officials say. Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP)
Australia will rebuild its regional tourism industry “when the time is right”, officials say.
Image: Saeed Khan / AFP

Tourism Australia has urged for a holistic approach to the nation’s bushfire crisis, urging the industry to continue to rally around those affected and provide any and all support possible to ensure everybody returns to full operations in due course.

In a statement from Managing Director Phillipa Harrison, the government organisation expressed its sympathies for families and communities impacted by the fires and affirmed its gratitude to all front line personnel fighting the situation.

Travellers around the world were urged to seek the most up-to-date information relating to their destinations prior to arrival and to remain informed throughout their trip. Links for the Rural Fire Service, National Parks authorities and individual state officials were provided, with advice also to phone ahead and check with hotels and attractions on their operating status, especially as many areas have been unaffected and remain open as normal.

New Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison.

Guests were also encouraged to speak to local tourism organisations about ways to best enjoy their time in Australia and how to support affected communities where possible. Tourism Australia said it would soon reach out to state-based tourism bodies to plan the path forward for the industry.

TA said its recently launched ‘Matesong’ campaign, featuring Kylie Minogue and aimed at the UK market, has been paused indefinitely until the full scale of the bushfires is realised and a fine-tuned strategy can be plotted for the campaign’s resumption when appropriate.

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Managing Director, Peter Shelley, said it was saddened by the loss experienced by so many communities and that it would work to support the recovery effort in the coming months.

“Importantly, at the right time we want to make sure we send a strong message to international visitors that Australia remains open for business,” Shelley said.

The organisation invited tourism businesses affected by the fires to submit feedback to Tourism Australia on operating statuses so this information can be shared with inbound tour operators.