Holiday in Australia, despite the bushfiresOn 26. January 2020 by Cookie
We are very much keeping up to date what goes on with the bushfires in Australia, and that’s how we know Western Australia is not much affected. But for people with a more limited knowledge about the situation, it seems to be unclear and not easily assessable where the fires take place and how dangerous it is elsewhere. That insecurity is obviously the cause for many cancellations from international visitors. But a holiday in Australia is really recommendable, despite (or even because of!) the bushfires.
For many regional tour operators, these cancellations lead to a difficult situation, as this Instgram post from Margaret River Discovery Co shows:
The country is vast!
The main problem seems to be, that many people just don’t fathom how huge the country really is. If we made a beeline between Perth and Sydney, where some of the devastating bushfires take place, the distance would be about 3.200 km. In Europe, that would cover the distance between Paris, France, and Damaskus, Syria (which isn’t even in Europe any more). Similarly, for the US, it would be between Washington DC and Phoenix, Arizona.
Obviously, in international coverage, there was shown a whole continent on fire. But that’s not the reality, because the reality looks more like this:
Quite understandably, if someone had a complicated holiday planned, with different rental cars, hotels and the like, they would probably not try to reschedule parts of it. But a holiday in Western Australia? I can see no reason why that should not be possible.
Holiday here this year
Most affected by these cancellations are the regions directly affected by the bushfires, mostly outside of the metropolitan areas. Many people in Australia are dependent on tourism: 5.2% of the Australian workforce, or nearly 670.000 people, work in the tourism sector, and it contributed 60.8 billion $ or 3.1% of the national GDP. The cancellations of many tourists during the high season, the Australian summer (winter in the northern hemisphere) is a a fierce cut into their livelihoods.
That’s why the federal government announced a 76 million dollar funding package to support the affected areas. As a part of it, the “Holiday here this year” campaing by Tourism Australia suggests Australians should spend their holidays in their own country this year.
We can only agree with this sentiment, and in our upcoming stay in Australia, we will surely pay even more attention to supporting the local economy.
hero image: Tourism Australia / australia.com