Australia is a huge continent, all 7.692 million km² of it. I know the news coming out from Down Under since late July 2019 have been nothing but about bushfires and may likely affect your intention to visit the gorgeous destination. But here’s the low-down – Not all places on the vast continent are affected, it’s still safe to travel to Australia. Please don’t cancel your trip. Your continued travel to Australia helps in its recovery.
The aim of this article is to advise readers on updates and help in making an informed decision when planning their trips to Australia. By deciding to cancel or postponing visits to Australia is to compound the dire condition the country faces in this unprecedented event. Tourism receipts are a lifeline to many businesses and any prolonged reduction of visitors is like a ‘second wave of bushfires’ affecting people livelihood.
Why Australia has bushfires ?
Bushfires in Australia is not a recent phenomenon and has destroyed properties and taken lives since 1851. The current scale of bushfires is compounded by a protracted heatwave, drought and wind conditions. Bushfires are a regular feature in Australia’s calendar – often triggered by natural causes such as lightning strikes and cannot be blamed on climate change or rising greenhouse gas emissions alone. Reports of arsonists, while happened in some incidents, have been grossly exaggerated.
Is it safe to visit Australia at this moment?
Yes – definitely, you can still travel to Australia. And no, you should not cancel your trip. Many parts of the vast continent are unaffected by the bushfires. Due in a large part to the effect of visual media, visitors’ perception of the scale of bushfires are magnified disproportionately due to news coverage of Australia, which is continuously focused on bushfire destruction. There are still many areas not affected that represents Australia well. Remember, Australia is 1 huge continent – all 7.692 million km², which is 10,639 times bigger than Singapore, for comparison.
The solution to enjoy a great trip Down Under is to understand the situation better and should the need arises, adjust your travel itinerary, taking into consideration bushfire movement or smoke conditions. Do book your trips with reputable Australia specialist Jetabout Holidays as they have the latest information and will have options ready for you on the current state of the bushfires and proactively keep you updated even while you are on the trip.
What are the safeguards for travelling during the bushfires?
This is largely dependent on which area you are travelling to. To enjoy Australia is about appreciating the serenity and beauty of nature that the vast country has come to signify. To ensure a blissful vacation, stay nimble and be adaptive to local conditions.
For free and independent travellers, you can stay updated on the bushfires information portal. For those who engaged Jetabout Holidays, the guesswork will be shouldered by the agency as they are in constant communication with relevant authorities, suppliers and partners throughout the region for clear and objective information. Stay contactable and keep updated throughout the trip on news via your smartphone with purchased data roaming. And of course, as in all overseas travel, make sure you stay fully insured, as life are unpredictable, bushfires or not.
Bushfires impact on Australia economy And recovery.
In 2019, Tourism contributed $44.6 billion to the economy while employing over 660,000 people. So its not an understatement that tourism is a key income earner for the Australian economy and will be heavily affected by the devastating impacts of these bushfires. By not cancelling or postponing your trip to Australia in this difficult time, is itself a valued form of support.
On the trip, do support the local businesses by dining or shopping at small establishments, as this will go a long way towards assisting the economic recovery by funding the local economies directly.
The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently made a plea on national television on the 8 Jan 2020 during a visit to Kangaroo Island – “Australia is open, Australia is still a wonderful place to come and bring your family and enjoy your holidays.”
Yes, Australia will always be one of my fave travel destinations and in two months time, I will be embarking on an epic exploration trip to Melbourne for the Great Ocean Road. Do subscribe to my page for trips updates. For my other adventures in Australia, please feel free to click here.
Footnote: All pictures used in this travelogue are copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and all rights reserved. The opinion expressed is factual, objective and that of the author. Some information is sourced from The Guardian, Seven Worlds and Wikipedia.