16 Jan '11, 4am

Floods hit Aussie tourism

BRISBANE, Australia: Brisbane is a travel hub for tourists and the gateway to the pristine beaches, rugged outback, tropical rainforests and Great Barrier Reef of Australia's famed 'Sunshine State'. But the floodwaters that surged through the city last week, depositing tonnes of putrid mud and debris, have shut down Brisbane's arts precinct, closed cafes, damaged hotels and scarred the image of tourist-friendly Queensland. "We depend on backpackers, yes, they are scared, they don't want to go to Fraser Island or the Whitsundays, or the Gold Coast, they are afraid of being stuck on the road," explains Lindsey Frazer of backpacker specialist Wicked Travel. At the Cloud 9 hotel, which caters to backpackers, guest numbers are down. "We were pretty much full at the start of the flooding," says receptionist Andrew Josey. "But people have been scared of the lack of electricity." ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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