News National Govt earmarks $76m to help tourism industry rise from the ashes

Govt earmarks $76m to help tourism industry rise from the ashes

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Images of blackened desolation like this post-fire shot of Kangaroo Island have persuaded potential visitors Australia isn't the place to visit. Photo: AAP
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The Morrison government is further dipping into its $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, announcing an initial $76 million tourism recovery package.

The initiative aims to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies by get tourists travelling in Australia again.

“Australian tourism is facing its biggest challenge in living memory,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Sunday.

“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.”

Responding to calls from the tourism industry, the package includes $20 million for a nationally coordinated domestic marketing initiative and $25 million for a global marketing campaign to drive international tourism.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham begs Australians to vote with their feet and wallets by visiting towns left reeling by the fires. Photo: AAP

A further $10 million will be provided to promote regional tourism events across bushfire-affected areas.

Through Tourism Australia, the government is providing an additional $9.5 million for its international media and travel trade hosting program, as well as $6.5 million to support tourism businesses attending at its annual trade event.

Australia’s diplomatic network is also receiving $5 million to promote the country being open for international education and exports as well as travel.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham is encouraging Australians to get out there and spend the next long weekend or school holiday within Australia to support tourism businesses.

He also wants to ensure key international markets understand Australia is still open for business.

“Most Australian tourism attractions are untouched by bushfire, and that people can still come and have the same incredible experience visiting Australia that we’ve always prided ourselves on,” he told ABC television.

-AAP