Global media have given extensive coverage to the wildfires, which have killed at least 28 people, burned an area larger than Portugal and blanketed the key tourist cities of Sydney and Melbourne in toxic smoke.
ATEC said the disaster had hit travel from the US, UK and Europe the hardest, coinciding with the December-February period which traditionally sees 50 per cent of the annual tourist bookings from those markets.
Shelley said the industry and government need to urgently get the message out that many key tourism destinations are largely unaffected by the fires.
"There is no doubt our industry will take a hit," he said. "The sooner we can communicate a strong, positive message, the better."
Australia's conservative government, which has come under intense criticism for its response to the fires and to the global warming which scientists say has been a major contributing factor to the crisis, has announced a 2 billion Australian dollars "bushfire recovery plan".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that this would include a significant boost for the tourism industry, with details to be unveiled next week.
Tourism Australia was forced to suspend an upbeat advertising campaign launched in the middle of the crisis featuring pop star Kylie Minogue after the ad was met with incredulity about what many saw as poor timing.
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