Sydney smoke chokes tourism

Reuters reports that Chinese tourism was always set to slide this year:

China’s aviation regulator said on Thursday it expected a decline in airline capacity and bookings to the United States and Australia over the Lunar New Year period for the first time in nearly four years due to a shift in tourist destinations.

Japan, Thailand and South Korea will rank among the most popular destinations for Chinese travellers for the holiday period early next year, Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) official Yu Biao told reporters at a monthly briefing.

Reuters last month reported that Chinese airlines were adding seats on short- and mid-range Asian flights in a strategic shift away from prestigious but loss-making North American routes to a market that promises better returns and growth.

Now Bloomie puts the boot in:

Chinese visitors seeking a blue-sky break in Sydney’s summer instead have encountered wildfire-induced smog choking the city, forcing tour operators to divert guests to other parts of Australia.

Restaurants and cafes are taking a hit as smoke puts off outdoor diners who typically seek to enjoy the warmer weather and longer evenings. Sydney accounts for one-quarter of Australia’s gross domestic product, consultancy SGS Economics and Planning estimates, and aside from the direct financial impact, the haze is hurting the harbor city’s global brand.

“Sydney is a renowned ‘lung-cleansing’ destination for Chinese people,” said Lili Stephanie, general manager at AJ Travel Pty Ltd, which organizes trips and cruises in Australia. “In the face of such bad conditions, we have suggested to some clients that they spend more time in other cities.”

Oppressive air pollution has been one of the missing ingredients in Sydney’s transition from Australian eden to urbanised Asian megalopolis. It already has the crush-loading, crumbling infrastructure, traffic disaster, impossible house prices, immense class divisions and ghettos.

Now, finally, it has made the cut on air quality and the next hurdle,  cheapening life itself, is well underway.

Falling tourism is a small price to pay for the honour.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Travelling to Japan/Thailand/South Korea from China is much cheaper than Australia and the USA, so it is also a reflection of the Chinese economical downturn as well.

      • The PM being here and saying anything about the fires now is likely to rouse up more anger. Better for everyone if he just stays quiet. We have enough to deal with.

        • MountainGuinMEMBER

          If he’s not working on the fire emergency I hope he has other critical stuff. If he has returned for holidays to get a fat paycheck for chilling at home, outrage will continue.

    • Don’t even really need mining. It’s just a mechanism to keep undesirable blue collar types out the back of Burraga and away from the gentry.

    • tourism is not really as great as presented by modern neoliberals
      practically it’s a transfer of wealth between local residents and tourism business owners
      very little of the money brought by tourists benefit locals while it costs so much once externalities included

  2. I guess Harry must be flogging dog boxes in those countries if so many of the China are heading there. What other reason could it be.

  3. Invest in air purification and face mask this will be the new normal now till all the bush is burnt-out another 4 to 5 years yet

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      That would be a good thing as the Australian bush is a pretty sh1t place that no one who is anyone really wants to go to. Clear it and develop it for people to enjoy more.

  4. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    We should consider ourselves ‘lucky’ – choking air quality, along with terrorism, is just part and parcel of living in a large global city.

  5. Sydney doesn’t seem that bad. The levels there seem to be sitting around 200 to maybe 500. Here in Canberra they just measured 981 across the road from me.

  6. Lol I’ve got foreign friends fromBeijing visiting Sydney and Canberra right now. They Had a week’s leave unexpectedly given and with cheap flights decided to fly to Sydney. They’re still enjoying themselves and having a great time but they’ve got a great attitude

  7. That’s how this cultureless country is..once air gets polluted there’s nothing to attract tourists

  8. One almost hopes the environment gets so bad that the insane LibLab mass migration program grinds to a halt.

    • Lol. As long as the quality of life is an improvement on the most impoverished country in Africa, the mass immigration program will continue, if it’s up to LibLab. At that point, we will have bigger problems, like getting enough petrol for our spike-covered Hiluxes to cross the desert that used to be Bondi.

  9. “the next hurdle, cheapening life itself, is well underway.” – GOLD

    The sooner the average Australian joins the dots on this the better… people are literally perishing in this inhospitable land, yet the ‘Big Australia’ push to cram 40 million humans on this island continues on in total stealth mode.

  10. upon reflecting on our indigenous brothers & sisters, and the fact that they thrived on this land, sustainably, for over 50,000 years, there’s good reason they were primarily nomadic peoples.

    Today, anyone sitting inside their pile of bricks in Sydney with a $1,000,000 mortgage must be wishing they could just up stumps and migrate further up-wind !

    Our modern civilisation is the epidemy of unsustainable. we’ll be lucky to last 500 years let alone 50,000