China ban im­pact on Oz

Travel Daily - - News -

THE Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment has banned tour groups trav­el­ling from the coun­try in an ef­fort to con­trol the spread of coron­avirus, with Bloomberg stat­ing the ban is ex­pected to last for at least two months.

The move is a blow to Aus­tralia’s tourism in­dus­try, which has suf­fered from months of dev­as­ta­tion due to the fires, with Tourism Aus­tralia even paus­ing its big-bud­get UK-based ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign (TD 06 Jan).

China has been Aus­tralia’s largest source mar­ket for the past two years, with 1.43 mil­lion vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing from the coun­try in 2018/19, a 303% in­crease on the 2008/09 sea­son (TD 12 Nov).

China is also providng a steep in­crease in FIT trav­ellers (TD 17 Jan), num­bers which are ex­pected to be greatly im­pacted.

MEAWHILE, The Aus­tralian Govt has also been draw­ing up plans to evac­u­ate Aussies on the ground in China’s Hubei prov­ince, sus­pected ground zero for the out­break, For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Marise Payne said in a state­ment.

“The De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade is work­ing closely with Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties and in­ter­na­tional part­ners to con­sider pos­si­ble as­sis­tance with travel for Aus­tralians from ar­eas that are af­fected,” she said.

“Our Em­bassy in Beijing and our Con­sulate in Shang­hai are also work­ing with in­ter­na­tional part­ners and the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment to de­ter­mine what sup­port can be given.”

Hubei’s cap­i­tal Wuhan is in lock­down, with all flights to and from the city sus­pended (TD Thu).

There is no Aus­tralian con­sulate in Wuhan, with the Min­is­ter urg­ing those who have fam­ily in the af­fected area to con­tact the con­sular emer­gency line on 1300 555 135 in Aus­tralia or +61 2 6261 3305 from over­seas.

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