The tourism industry has backed Tourism Australia’s ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign and renewed its call for Australians to get behind fire ravaged communities by choosing to holiday domestically rather than overseas during 2020.

Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond said the campaign which is part of a $20million package being funded by the Federal Government to promote domestic tourism, would provide some hope for tourism dependent businesses suffering extreme financial hardship as a result of the devastating bushfires that have virtually wiped out their peak trading season.

“Never has there been a time when Australians needed to get behind their own by holidaying locally and in doing so helping communities and businesses struggling for survival as travellers have made the decision to cancel or delay their holiday plans.

“We need to get the tourism industry one of Australia’s prime drivers of economic growth and jobs – back on its feet as soon as possible.

“The response from the Australian public and their desire to assist regions impacted by the fires directly or indirectly has been absolutely extraordinary with cash donations and offers to volunteer with the clean-up and recovery effort continuing to flow in.

“Whether it is a weekend away, the family’s annual holiday on the coast or an interstate visit to a long-desired destination every little bit helps and supports the critical message that the Australian tourism industry is open for business.”

Ms Osmond complemented Tourism Australia on the extremely fast turnaround on the campaign coming just days after the additional funding package was announced by the Federal Government.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government through Tourism Australia to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry and on the next stages of this badly needed campaign.”