Australia to provide $76 million for communities and tourism businesses affected by wildfires
The Australian government announced that communities and tourism businesses affected by the devastating wildfires would receive an initial payment of $76 million with the help of the Morrison Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the government is aiming to support Australia’s $152 billion tourism industry by offering to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies by encouraging travelers to return to the continent.
Officials have already shifted 6,000 soldiers to the region for offering assistance and issued more than $50 million in emergency payments.
Prime Minister Morrison said in a statement, “Australian tourism is facing its biggest challenge in living memory. One in thirteen Australian jobs rely on tourism and hospitality so our $76 million investment is an urgent injection to help all those hotels, restaurants and cafes and tour operators get back on their feet.”
“This is about getting more visitors to help keep local businesses alive and protect local jobs right across the country and especially in those areas so directly devastated such as Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills, the Blue Mountains and right along the NSW Coast and East Gippsland in Victoria,” Morrison said further.
The initial tourism recovery package includes $20 million for a nationally coordinated domestic marketing initiative and $25 million for a global marketing campaign for boosting international visitors.
In addition, $10 million of the fund will be provided for a regional tourism events initiative across the areas affected by bushfire, $9.5 million for an international media and travel trade hosting initiative, $6.5 million for supporting tourism business’ attendance at the Australian Tourism Exchange and $5 million for a diplomatic education network.
“Tourism is the lifeblood of so many communities around Australia and it’s absolutely critical that we help to get people back visiting those communities that rely on tourism,” Minister Birmingham said.