Travel warnings for Sydney

The New South Wales tourism industry has been urged to “pull together” in response to the warnings.

The British warning mentions recent “sporadic outbreaks of racially motivated violence in Cronulla, Maroubra, Brighton-le-Sands” and “areas of south-west Sydney”.

Britons are advised to “monitor the situation and exercise caution”.

NSW Tourism Council president Ron Rosalky said it is likely there may be some financial losses incurred as a result of the warnings.

But he urged the industry to work together and realise it’s not the end of the world.

New South Wales Tourism Minister Sandra Nori said she is not surprised or alarmed by international travel warnings about race violence in Sydney.

“I can’t speak for those governments but it’s not unusual for governments to issue travel warnings for all sorts of situations,” Ms Nori said.

“My understanding is these are not at the higher end (of warnings) – they are not saying don’t travel to Australia or Sydney … but keep away from trouble spots.

“You have got to see these travel warnings in context and look at all the overwhelming information about Sydney and what a great, positive place it is, that will be what sways (travellers).”

Ms Nori said the government is working on a tourism package promoting Sydney, due to be released shortly.

State opposition tourism spokeswoman Katrina Hodgkinson said the NSW government should be doing more to restore Sydney’s reputation as a tourist-friendly destination.

“For travel warnings to be issued sends a terrible message to visitors,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

The head of a major US tourism company meanwhile said the racial violence has not scared off American travellers to Australia over the holiday period.

Ian Swain, of Swain Tours, said he has not had a single cancellation.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma said tourist bookings to Sydney have remained steady.

Sydney “is a great city to come to, it is a great city to live in, and the message over summer will be that those 800 police will be out in force,” he said.