Destinations

“Exercise increased caution”: US updates travel advisory for Australia due to bushfires

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Australia has suffered yet another tourism blow amidst the ongoing bushfire crisis, with the US warning its citizens travelling Down Under to “exercise increased caution”.

In an update issued earlier this week, the US Department of State urged tourists to consider postponing their trip to areas of Australia that have been affected by bushfires until the danger of natural disaster has passed.

“The current bushfire season is one of the worst in Australia’s recorded history. Authorities are issuing regular updates on affected areas. Bushfires may continue through March or April 2020,” the update said.

“Even in areas not directly affected by bushfires, smoke is causing poor air quality. Smoke can affect people’s health and it is important for everyone to reduce exposure.

“Check the air quality for your destinations and take precautions as needed. Consider postponing your travel plans to areas where air quality is significantly affected by bushfire conditions.”

The updated travel advisory puts Australia on the same level as Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea, and is the latest blow to the country’s tourism credentials.

Less than two weeks after it launched, Tourism Australia made the decision to temporarily pull its ‘Matesong’ ad earlier this month in response to the country’s bushfire crisis.

The ad, which features pop icon Kylie Minogue alongside a host of other famous Aussies such as Adam Hills, Ash Barty, Ian Thorpe and Shane Warne, is part of Tourism Australia’s latest campaign aimed at enticing more Brits Down Under.

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