Feb 8, 2018

Australian Tourism at Risk Because of Turnbull’s Climate Change Complacency

The Climate Council’s latest report Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism highlights what is at risk for Australia’s top tourist destinations in the threat of imminent climate change.

In the report the Climate Council says Australia’s most important tourist destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Centre and the Top End as well as our pristine beaches and ski tourism, are already feeling the effects of climate change and that the impacts will accelerate over the coming decades.

The Great Barrier Reef tourism industry, which has been valued at $5.7 billion, provides 64,000 direct and indirect jobs and attracts more than 2.2 million international and 1.7 million domestic visitors per year, has undergone two recent devastating bleaching events.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) global analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on tourism identified the Australia/New Zealand region as one of five Climate Change Vulnerable Hotspots saying: “Australian tourism was particularly vulnerable due to hotter summers, warmer winters, water scarcity, marine biodiversity loss, sea level rise, an increase in disease outbreaks and an increase in extreme weather events.”

In the year ending September 2017, Australia received 8 million international visitors. These visitors spent a record $41.2 billion.

Tourism is one of Australia’s most valuable export earners and has been identified by Deloitte as a super growth sector.

Yet under Malcolm Turnbull, pollution is continually on the rise and the 2017 Climate Change Review offered not a single new climate policy.

Only Labor has a plan to combat climate change to protect our tourism assets.