Tourism

Tourism Australia GM says international travel has plunged 30 per cent

International tourism bookings have dropped by 30 per cent in the past few weeks, according to Tourism Australia’s Phillipa Harrison.

The head of TA spoke at the 2020 Visitor Economy Forum yesterday and revealed the impact of the drought, bushfires and coronavirus on tourism, according to the The Sydney Morning Herald.

Before 2020, Harrison said tourism in Australia was on track to double its visitor numbers in 10 years.

That is, until around $6.5 billion worth of global negative media coverage began to deter international travellers.

Harrison told the Melbourne conference coronavirus was going to have a bigger impact on tourism numbers due to its global impact.

“This one isn’t about brand Australia, this one is about the downturn in travel globally,” she said.

Harrison said bookings from China had dropped 11 per cent since the government’s travel ban came into play,  which was a key contributor to the drop in bookings.

Since December, Harrison said Australia has experienced a 35 per cent drop in bookings compared with booking data from last year.

“We have seen a significant initial sharp decline, which is expected given the magnitude of these two crises. We anticipate a sharp recovery as soon as the crisis resolves itself,” she said.

“We are dealing with something that we just don’t know where it’s going to end.”

However, it wasn’t all bad news. Harrison also said there was a slight upturn in the domestic market, with bookings at minus 2 per cent last week, up from minus seven the week before.

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