WATCH | Sydney Opera house lights up with images of Australia's fire heroes while tourism takes massive hit

As the world mourns the losses of the Australian bush fires, one of its biggest attractions lit up to honour the volunteers fighting the ongoing disaster.

The Sydney Opera house lit up its iconic sails on Saturday to pay homage to the 'firies' battling the blazes and the communities affected by the fires. 

According to 9News, three firefighters have died out of 20 people since July last year, alongside the estimated billion animals that have also lost their lives. 

READ: First test of longest 19-hour non-stop passenger flight completed 

There is a ray of hope though - firefighters have managed to start controlling the megablaze in the New South Wales' Gospers Mountains, which has been burning for almost three months. 

Australian tourism also devastated

Of the billions in losses from homes and businesses taken out by the fires, another industry is also getting hit hard - Australia's tourism.

Towns that used to bustle with throngs of visitors are now empty, either devastated by fires or by Australia's tarnished image as a safe holiday destination. 

AFP reports that tourists had to be evacuated from coastal towns surrounded by fire, flights have been cancelled and even the US has issued a travel advisory to "exercise extreme caution" when visiting the country.

Australia Tourism also released an ad aimed at UK visitors on Christmas with singer Kylie Minogue in December, but halted the campaign after being met with harsh criticism for being insensitive to the current situation. 

"Australia: Literally on Fire. Also Australians: Come to Australia" said one comment on the video. 

"As an Australian I'm just gonna say, who in the bloody hell authorised this?" commented another.

SEE: Passenger finds python curled up in shoe after flying from Australia to Scotland 

However, Australian politicians are a lot more optimistic, urging people to visit areas unaffected by the fires, stating that they are "still very much open for business", according to AFP.

But those tourism town destroyed by fire might take months or years to rebuild, and in that time many will leave to find work elsewhere, specifically to the urban areas less impacted by the fires. 

The Australian countryside might never be the same again.

Find Your Escape by signing up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe hereOr download the News24 App hereto receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile