New South Wales Bushfire Smoke Is Choking The Tourism Industry

Ferry heading to Sydney Circular Quay in thick bushfire smoke. Editorial credit: M. W. Hunt /
Ferry heading to Sydney Circular Quay in thick bushfire smoke. Editorial credit: M. W. Hunt /

One of the worst bushfires has struck Australia and it is not just the country's wildlife that is suffering. Tourism has also experienced a massive setback in Australia, especially New South Wales. 

A Choking Sydney Repels Tourism

Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, and a major tourism hub in the country is among the worst hit. Smoke from the bushfires has drifted into the city cloaking it in a hazardous smog. In recent weeks, Sydney’s air quality has ranked one of the worst in the world. Given the conditions, tourists are obviously keeping away. The state’s authority fears that the smoke haze could have a long term negative effect on the state, particularly Sydney’s reputation among tourists. Outdoor activities are already suffering from the sustained poor air quality, with experts warning that visitors may shun the city during hot months. Chinese visitors who frequent Sydney during summer have been forced to relocate to other parts of the country with better air quality. 

Sydney, New South Wales’ capital is famed for its outdoor activities and air quality has for the last days been covered in smoke from the bushfire. The smoke has not only affected visibility within the city and the entire state but has also greatly affected the country’s economy, especially the tourism sector. Apart from the tourism sector, trade and construction industries have also taken heat as most workers have taken leave to stay indoors because of the poor air quality. Hospital admissions related to breathing complications have almost doubled forcing some medical groups to declare public health emergency warnings.

AJ Travel Pty Limited which organizes cruises and trips in Australia has advised their clients to restrict themselves to the cities not affected by the fires. Most restaurants and joints remain empty in Sydney as visitors and locals choose to stay indoors to avoid chocking from the smoke.

Noah Moseley, the general manager of Calmsley Hill City Farm, said that the number of visitors at the farm has greatly reduced due to air pollution. TreeTops Adventure Park was forced to shut down its Central Coast Site due to the threat of the nearby wildfire.

State Government Remains Positive Amidst The Smoke “Storm”

Although experts warn that the worsening poor air quality may have a long term effect on the NSW tourism industry, the state’s Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres remains positive that the sector will not suffer much. Ayres said that visitors should not be turned off by the wildfire as “the bushfire smoke was temporary and uncomfortable at times.” He insisted that the motels were still open, restaurants were serving food, and pubs were pouring beer. The minister also encouraged not to change their plans for visiting NSW.


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