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Should You Still Travel to Australia – How Your Trip Supports Recovery

TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA AND SUPPORT RECOVERY - Visit Australia and be a part of the recovery for supporting their economy and local businesses



Visit Australia and be a part of the recovery for supporting their economy and local businesses

Yes, travel to Australia. Don’t cancel your trip. Though it might seem out of place to think about traveling while parts of the country are experiencing these bushfires, it is one of the most significant ways to aid in long-term recovery.

The goal of this article is to illustrate the relationship between tourism areas, the bushfires and the economic support needed during this crisis and recovery. Information has been gathered from locals, tourism suppliers and government agencies to provide an objective picture on how to support Australia.

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Should You Still Travel To Australia

Yes – absolutely, you should still travel to Australia.  No, you should not cancel your trip.

There are many beautiful parts of Australia that are unaffected by the bushfires. The coverage of Australia is focused on the bushfire destruction because that is where our support is needed. Australia is a large country. There are many areas unimpacted that showcase what makes Australia extraordinary.

You may find yourself needing to alter your itinerary to avoid certain cities or areas based on bushfire movement or smoke challenges. Any reputable Travel Operation will have actionable options ready for you based on the current state of the bushfires and likely proactively contact you first. Flexibility is important.

Your trip still has the capacity to showcase an incredible country with amazing people – all the while aiding in the economic recovery during this crisis. Traveling to Australia now, or this year is a significant way to help Australia in the long term. It will also provide a meaningful travel experience.

Below is a summer provided by Tourism Australia of Australia’s most popular destinations and their impact status.

Even with the notes above, ultimately you need to make your own informed decision on how to move forward.

What Should I Be Prepared For While Traveling During Australia Bushfires?

This is all dependent on where you are traveling to. With all travel, flexibility is important. Bushfires evolve with the ever changing weather conditions which are largely unpredictable.

Your first action should be to contact the Travel Advisor and Travel Company you worked with to plan your travels. They will have direct communication lines with suppliers and partners throughout the country with access to raw, non-sensationalized information. Australia is a large country, much of it rural. These bushfires are largely devastating these rural areas.

Stay informed throughout your journey. Check-in with your mobile provider to add mobile data so you can have easy communication with your Travel Advisor or Tour Company, as well as check any important information in the destinations you are visiting.

Should You Consider Cancelling?

Do not cancel if possible. If you are absolutely determined to cancel your travel arrangements, consider working with your Travel Advisor and Travel Company to move your itinerary later in the year as opposed to cancelling all together. This will continue to contribute to recovery by supporting the local businesses that are in need of support.

Australia bushfires are happening over what is known as peak travel season. During peak season, cancellation penalties for voluntary cancellation of services not affected by the bushfires are typically at maximum.

Travel Companies and Advisors have strong relationships with their partners in Australia. Work with them to see if any allowances can be provided by any of the suppliers. However unlikely this may be, this is the best avenue if your intent is to cancel.

It is important that you feel safe and confident in your travels. Money can be a significant stressor when trying to weigh decisions like this, but should not be a factor if you feel unsafe. Work with your Advisor, read multiple news sources to understand the full picture surrounding the areas your itinerary is traveling to. Australia has many beautiful regions unimpacted that offer a safe and experiential travel experience.

Economic Impact Of Australia Bushfires And Recovery

The effects of the Australian bushfires will have resounding impact on local and national economies. Tourism plays a significant role in the Australian economy. In 2019, Tourism contributed $44.6 billion to the national economy while employing over 660,000 people. Tourism is being dramatically impacted alongside the devastating impacts of these bushfires.

Traveling to Australia is a form of support on its’ own.

While there, buy and support local everything while traveling. Shop at local businesses. Eat at local restaurants. Pay with cash when you can. Avoid large chains and help support the economic recovery by funding the local economies directly.

Are Tourist Areas Affected By Australia Wildfires?

Tourism Australia has released a comprehensive statement about the Bushfires impacting Australia.

“Like all Australians our sympathies go out to the families and communities who are impacted by the fires, and our gratitude grows stronger by the day for the front line services facing the fires head on.

“Whilst bushfires continue to impact parts of Australia, many areas are unaffected and most tourism businesses are still open.

“It is more important than ever that we rally around our communities and the tourism sector who may have been impacted.

“We would encourage all travellers coming to Australia to seek the most up to date information prior to departure, and remain informed about changing conditions whilst on the ground…..

Read the full statement from Tourism Australia’s Managing Director here.

New South Wales has been impacted significantly. Record heat and dry weather have created the perfect conditions for bushfires to spread. These fires have largely burned through the bush, mountain ranges and national parks. Touring and experiences in Sydney remain operational. There have been days of poor air quality, as this can be unpredictable and reliant on the winds.

Victoria’s main tourist areas Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island are operating normally. There have been days of smog through Melbourne.

As the fire situation begins to ease in South Australia, local tour providers are encouraging visitors to visit as businesses begin to get back on their feet. The support is welcomed and much needed. South Australia Tourism Board has created an extensive guide on Everything you need to know about traveling to Kangaroo Island now.

Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia have become strong itinerary alterations to travelers worried about smog in the main cities. While fires burn throughout these states, tourism areas remain unimpacted. Each state offer unique experiences of Australia not to be missed.

For additional information on specific areas and whether they have been impacted or not, Tourism Australia has created a useful guide broken down by state which can be found here.

Travel Insurance Coverage

Always purchase Travel Insurance for all of your travels. Life and our world are unpredictable.

If certain portions of your itinerary can no longer go as planned due to the Australia bushfires, your Travel Insurance will likely provide coverage and compensation due to any cancellations or disruptions initiated by the service resulting from natural disasters. This is of course dependent on your travel insurance and a question for them directly.

If a tour, flight or reservation is impacted directly and is cancelled by the operator, then the operator will typically provide full refunds.

Travel Insurance typically does not cover what is considered a voluntary cancellations. For voluntary cancellations, you will need to review the cancellation penalties for the individual travel services you have booked.

The information above is general. For clarity on these points and to understand your coverage better, reach out to your Travel Insurance directly.

Other Ways To Help The Australia Bushfires

We have compiled an article on Australia Bushfires and How You Can Help containing support links to local Fire Services, Wildlife Centers and family support services.

Additional Resources

Foreign Travel Advise Australia

Tourism Australia Bushfire Statement

Yes, It’s Safe to Visit Australia, According to the Tourism Board

Why You Should Visit Australia Now More Than Ever

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