SEVERE coral bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef could cost it more than a million visitors a year and huge sums in lost tourism revenue, a survey said last Tuesday (21).
The World Heritage-listed reef which teems with marine life experienced an unprecedented bleaching earlier this year that saw much of it whiten and almost a quarter of corals die.
More than a third of Australians said they were more likely to travel to another part of the country if the bleaching continued.
In terms of foreign tourists, more than half Chinese respondents, and about a third of American and British participants said they were more likely to visit somewhere other than Australia if the reef’s deterioration persisted.
The 2,300-km (1,429-mile) long reef, the world’s biggest coral ecosystem, is suffering from its worst bleaching in recorded history due to warming sea temperatures.