US upgrades travel warning for Australia to the same level as Hong Kong and Gaza
The United States is warning its citizens to exercise caution when travelling to Australia, amid the bushfire crisis.
The US travel advisory warning has been upgraded to ‘exercise increased caution’, putting us on the same warning level as Gaza, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.
Tourists are being warned to “consider postponing their trip to affected areas until the danger of natural disaster has passed”.
Director of the Griffith Institute for Tourism, Dr Sarah Gardiner, said the warning is sure to affect tourism in Australia.
“I’m sure it’s having quite an impact,” she told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.
“It would be impacting on people thinking about coming to Australia next year.”
Because of the distance between the US and Australia, Dr Gardiner said Americans are likely to be cautious about choosing the right time to travel.
“Often a trip to Australia, for a lot of people in the US, is really a once in a lifetime experience, so they want to come when it’s the best time to visit,” she said.
But tourism bodies are working hard to get the message out that many parts of Australia are still safe to travel to.
“Most areas around Australia are unimpacted by the fires, so they’re really trying to communicate that Australia is open for business in terms of tourism,” Dr Gardiner said.
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