Community campaigns emerge in wake of fires as tourism industry braces for hefty losses

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Community campaigns emerge in wake of fires as tourism industry braces for hefty losses - DesiEngine
Community campaigns emerge in wake of fires as tourism industry braces for hefty losses

As Australia’s tourism industry prepares to take a hit worth “hundreds of millions” of dollars, community-driven campaigns are hoping to draw back visitors and assist business in bushfire-affected communities.

Last week, Melbourne’s Zoe Manderson launched the Roadtrip For Good website, which allows users to plan trips to regional areas and see which cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels are open for business.

Ms Manderson said the site would operate nationally and allow businesses to put up their own listings for free.

She hoped the site would draw Easter visitors to affected regions, when the fire crisis will have hopefully eased.

“It’s great to have inspiration, but people don’t really know what’s going on in the ground,” she said.

The executive director of the Australian Tourism Industry Council, Simon Westaway, estimated the bushfire crisis had cost the national industry “hundreds of millions” of dollars.

“I wouldn’t want to put a billion in front of it yet,” he said.
“Every bed was cancelled in a fire zone, and even in non-fire zones, the cancellation rates have been upwards of 50 per cent.”

While Mr Westaway expected an influx of Chinese tourists to capital cities for upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, he had concerns about long-term overseas tourism prospects.

“There’s a perception the whole country’s on fire,” he said.

Pitt joins the push

Burns survivor and author Turia Pitt has acquired more than 160,000 followers on Instagram in four days, for a new campaign encouraging people to buy products from businesses in bushfire-affected towns.
The Spend With Them campaign promotes everything from fashion retailers to beef farmers.

Meanwhile, the It’s My Shout! website allows users to buy products from East Gippsland or purchase meals for residents in need.

The community campaigns come on top of hundreds of millions of dollars that have been donated to charities by the public, celebrities and philanthropists.

Australia’s fires have so far claimed more than 20 lives and burnt about 15 million hectares. In NSW alone, more than a billion animals have been killed.
The executive director of the Australian Tourism Industry Council, Simon Westaway, estimated the bushfire crisis had cost the national industry “hundreds of millions” of dollars.

“I wouldn’t want to put a billion in front of it yet,” he said.
“Every bed was cancelled in a fire zone, and even in non-fire zones, the cancellation rates have been upwards of 50 per cent.”

While Mr Westaway expected an influx of Chinese tourists to capital cities for upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, he had concerns about long-term overseas tourism prospects.

“There’s a perception the whole country’s on fire,” he said.

original resource: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-13/community-campaigns-helping-bushfire-towns-bounce-back/11859990?section=business

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