Australian Government pledges huge bushfire recovery fund

The Australian Government has announced a new AUD$76m fund to help the country’s tourism industry recover.

The industry-specific fund is part of a wider AUD$2bn pledged by the Morrison Government, as part of plans to counteract the bushfire crisis sweeping through the country.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) welcomed the news, saying: “We applaud the key initiatives nominated to help the inbound tourism sector to recover, including an increase in international media and social media influencer engagement along with support for the Australian Tourism exchange, which is our largest annual trade show.
sm“While tourism businesses on the frontline of recent bushfires have an immediate need for support in their recovery, our global reputation as a holiday destination has been significantly impacted and we need to act urgently to reassure visitors that Australia is open for business.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured right) described the bushfire crises as the tourism sector’s “biggest challenge in living memory”. Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham added: “We need tourists to visit fire-affected regions. It’s about saving the jobs of Australians working in tourism.”

AUD$46m of that money will be put towards promoting Australia as a destination on the international market, while the remaining AUD$30m will be for promoting regional tourism.

AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl

Convention Bureaux across Australia have rallied to spread the message that the country is open for business. The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) released a statement, 20 January.

It read: “The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) encourages conference organisers and event managers who are seeking information in relation to the impact of the bushfires on business events destinations to contact the local convention bureau authority.

“Almost all Australian destinations are safe to meet in and visit, and AACB’s member convention bureaux will be able to alleviate concerns for the many destinations not impacted.”