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Tourism loses $4.5b to bushfires as overseas visitors cancel

Tourism loses $4.5b to bushfires as overseas visitors cancel

The number of international tourists booking holidays to Australia is down 10 to 20 percent due to the bushfires and will cost the country at least $4.5 billion by the end of the year, Report says, citing the Australian Financial Review.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) said the year-on-year reduction might get worse, adding that 70 percent of its members had received cancellations for trips ranging in value from $5000 to $500,000.

Sharing exclusively with The Australian Financial Review results from an internal survey conducted among its 850 members, Peter Shelley, the managing director of the nation's peak export tourism body, said: "ATEC's focus is on international arrivals, and we see a lot of cancellations from our big key markets – America, Britain and China."

Mr. Shelley said a "conservative" estimate of industry losses at this stage was $4.5 billion, where international tourists alone deliver $45 billion a year to the economy (foreign and domestic tourists combined generate more than $130 billion).

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