The number of international tourists booking holidays to Australia is down 10 to 20 percent due to the bushfires and will cost the country at least $4.5 billion by the end of the year, Report says, citing the Australian Financial Review.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) said the year-on-year reduction might get worse, adding that 70 percent of its members had received cancellations for trips ranging in value from $5000 to $500,000.

Sharing exclusively with The Australian Financial Review results from an internal survey conducted among its 850 members, Peter Shelley, the managing director of the nation’s peak export tourism body, said: “ATEC’s focus is on international arrivals, and we see a lot of cancellations from our big key markets – America, Britain and China.”

Mr. Shelley said a “conservative” estimate of industry losses at this stage was $4.5 billion, where international tourists alone deliver $45 billion a year to the economy (foreign and domestic tourists combined generate more than $130 billion).