Ash latest problem for Australian tourism

Volcanic ash from Chile is adding to Aussie tourism woes.

Travel Insurance News - 30/06/2011

<< British woman in coma dies in Spain | Travel News | Tiger Airways and regulators talk about grounding >>

Ash from an erupting volcano in Chile is adding to a litany of problems wreaking havoc with tourism in Australia. According to analysts, the country's tourism and aviation industries are losing millions of dollars per day because of a series of calamities.

The country’s tourism industry has already had to weather flooding, cyclones and earthquakes. The ash cloud that has drifted all the way from Chile is just the latest disaster to upend travel and tourism in the region.

Australia’s travel and tourism operators have already been hit by pricing woes driven by soaring global fuel prices. In addition, a boom in commodities has led to the country’s powerful mining business fuelling a rally in the value of the Australian dollar.

Many foreign travellers find Australia more expensive than ever. Australians, enjoying a boom in their spending power abroad, have been heading abroad to enjoy international holidays.

In the latest chapter of this sorry saga, a huge plume of ash from Puyehue volcano in Chile has drifted across the region, leaving hundreds of international and domestic flights grounded. This is the second time ash from Puyehue has disrupted Australian air travel.

Sydney Airport, the biggest in Australia was at a virtual standstill for roughly 24 hours. Flights arriving from Europe and across Asia were diverted into Brisbane, leaving thousands of travellers stranded and airlines facing huge bills.

Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, said it the volcano chaos had already cost it some Aus$21 million, and that was before the latest disruptions. Industry analysts say the nation’s travel industry could be looking at losses exceeding Aus$ 30 million per day.

<< British woman in coma dies in Spain | Travel News | Tiger Airways and regulators talk about grounding >>