Australia is open for business and asks travel advisors for support by sending clients to the Land Down Under. That was the sentiment of Chris Allison, Tourism Australia’s head of commercial partnerships, the Americas for North America, during a presentation held at the headquarters of the Travel Leaders Group in New York City. He also had good news to share.

“The last week or so we’ve experienced heavy rains and many of the fires are out and those that are remaining have been contained,” says Allison.

Tourism Australia’s website, Australia.com, is an invaluable resource with an interactive map showing the areas of the country that have been impacted, he adds. For a list of the areas not affected by the brushfires, click on our story, “Australia Bushfires & Where Your Clients Can Travel Safely.”

“Bushfires are not new for Australia. It is something that happens every year. It’s part of the natural ecological cycle in our country. What is new for us this year is the breadth and extent of the fires,” he describes.

It is important that travelers understand the size of the country. “Our land mass is similar to the U.S. The fires have impacted only three percent of our country in very concentrated areas,” he says.

In the next few weeks, Tourism Australia will be addressing travel advisors and will be holding briefings in nine U.S. markets. “Australia is 100 percent open for business,” he enthuses.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion Travel Group presented Allison with a check from the Travel Leaders Group’s nonprofit foundations, the Altour Foundation, the Family Bonds Foundation, of which Friedman is president, and the Tzell and Protravel Foundation, for the Red Cross. She was joined by Awilda Gonzalez, senior vice president of Tzell Travel Group, Michelle Capaccio, COO of Protravel International, and Lisa Wheeler, senior VP, operations Altour.

For more information on the bushfires’ locations, visit tourism-australia-bushfire-map.alantgeo.com.au. Check out our articles, “Latest on Australia Fires,” and “Sun Princess First Cruise Ship to Return to Australia’s Kangaroo Island” for more information.