Tourism is often a significant component of a region or country’s economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being and a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tsunami, landslide, flood or bushfire may cause a range of impacts on the destination. The recovery of the tourism industry after a disaster may be critical for overall community recovery. In January 2003 the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), home to the capital city Canberra, experienced a natural disaster. Lighting strikes on the western edge of the Territory started five bushfires that eventually spread to consume 157,000 hectares of natural, rural and residential land – almost 70 per cent of the Territory (McLeod, 2003). It also destroyed 488 urban and rural dwellings – a significant number for a city of 320,000 residents – and resulted in four fatalities (ACT Bushfire Recovery Taskforce, 2003). The fires had serious repercussions for the ACT’s natural and cultural attraction base as it damaged national parks, nature reserves, river corridors and cultural built heritage. The effect on the destination image was profound with images of the devastating fires being shown on regional, national and international media. Several tour operators and numerous other tourism businesses were directly impacted by the fires and the industry as a whole was affected by the downturn in visitor numbers.
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Event||BEST Education Network Sustainable Tourism Think Tank V - , Jamaica|
Duration: 16 Jun 2005 → 19 Jun 2005
|Conference||BEST Education Network Sustainable Tourism Think Tank V|
|Period||16/06/05 → 19/06/05|
Armstrong, K. (2005). Communicating with visitors during and after a natural disaster - Examples from the 2003 bushfires in the Australian Capital Territory. 1-3. Paper presented at BEST Education Network Sustainable Tourism Think Tank V, Jamaica.