Australia faces the heat

Warning bells have not stopped ringing as a series of wildfire raging predominantly in southeast Australia, is expected to go on for months. We speak to six travel advisors to find out what the ground reality for them is, with a majority of them agreeing that tourism remains largely unaffected.

Shiv Wagle, Director, Meandering Vacations

“We continue to get queries and though it’s peak season for Australia, it’s not a holiday season in India. But, we do have live queries for M!CE for March, and despite there being concerns, we have not received any request for deviation. There is no impact on tourism at least for now. Hence, we continue to promote regular destinations.

Maitreyee Patel, Director, Pathfinders Holidays

We have not seen any cancellation and our pas- sengers are travelling as per schedule. I have not seen a very high demand for the T20 matches scheduled later this year, possibly because it will be exam time in India. We have received an advisory from the tourism board as well as updates from local tour operators with regard to travel within Australia.”

Nishant Patel, Managing Partner, The Grand Vacationist

Despite the current fire situation, we haven’t faced any cancellations yet. However, there have been questions and worries on safety, and this is where the tourism boards and the travel advisor play key roles. They have been providing regular updates on the situation and how we can track the situation. Safety is top priority and we continue selling the safe zones.”

Dev Karvat, Founder & CEO, India & Emerging Markets, TrawellTag Cover-More

The bush fires in Australia are unfortunate and have largely affected the New South Wales region. For such inevitable catastrophes that may arise during trips, TrawellTag Cover-More has introduced a first-of-its-kind product in India, Crisis Assistance Plus, a travel assistance membership programme that provides ‘boots on the ground’ support and evacuation.”

Veneeta Rawat, Founder & Director, Amazing Vacations

Despite the present conditions, we continue to sell Australia packages. We have not seen any cancellations. Most states in parts are fine and, of course, all the cities are fine. Most tourist attractions are also operational. The support and timely updates by all Australian partners is commendable. We also see demand for the T20 matches happening in Australia.”

Purvi Jhaveri, Director, Sunday Pure Holidays

At the moment, the demand is very low due to the ongoing bush fires. Clients are not proactively asking for Australia as a preferred travel destination since they also want things to ease at the earliest so that they can plan accordingly. We continue to sell places like Melbourne, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Great Ocean Road, etc.”

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