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Australia to support tourism hard hit by fire

2020-01-19T13:13:00.753Z

The Ministry of Tourism will release funds for professionals. The sector, which weighs 150 billion Australian dollars (over 90 billion euros), has suffered in recent months many cancellations of reservations due to fires ...



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Australian Minister of Tourism Simon Birmingham (right) during a visit to a cafe on Kangaroo Island on January 19, 2020. REUTERS / Tracey Nearmy

The Ministry of Tourism will release funds for professionals. The sector, which weighs 150 billion Australian dollars (more than 90 billion euros), has suffered in recent months many cancellations of reservations due to the fires that ravaged the country.

Ecological disaster, human disaster ... Fires are also an economic disaster for many communities living from tourism in Australia. For three months, tourists have been fleeing the country, frightened by the images of apocalypse and burnt koalas. International bookings have dropped from 30% to 40%, according to Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham; 70% for domestic reservations, according to the Australian press.

The shortfall already reaches 600 million euros and could approach 2.7 billion by the end of the year.

Kangaroo Island Natural Park destroyed

Particularly prized sites have been destroyed, such as the forests of the blue mountain region in New South Wales which have burned down to 80%. The Kangaroo Island Natural Park, the country's number one tourist destination, has also been reduced to ashes.

The tourism industry weighs 90 billion euros across the country and supports 660,000 people. To help them, the Minister of Tourism announced a boost of 50 million euros. An envelope that is part of a global plan of $ 1.2 billion that the government will release to overcome the consequences of the fires.

Australia: the fires and the drama of the koalas explode online donations

Source: rfi

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