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Passionate plea as bushfires spark losses of $30 million

November 15, 2013 Destination Global, Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Tourism operators say recent bushfires in the Blue Mountains have cost the industry nearly AUD 30 million from cancellations and visitors staying away.

Disastrous bushfires destroyed over 200 homes last month, along with the much-loved Zig Zag Railway tourist attraction.

Chairman of Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon Tourism (BMLOT), Randall Walker, told ABC News that the industry was struggling to cope with CONSULTANTS TRAVEL MKTG HOT PINK 250 X 250occupancy rates that had dived “as much as 80% down”.

Walker said some small bed and breakfast operators had received “zero customers and zero revenue”. Larger operators were slowly recovering, he added.

About AUD 28.4 million has been lost in an industry employs that more than 5000 people in the popular tourism region west of Sydney.

The ABC quoted local operators warning of a grim flow-on effect: staff are leaving the region to look for work elsewhere in the run-up to Christmas.

Cancellations are coming in from as far away as Holland, one operator reported.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill argues passionately for tourists to come back.

“Tourism is a life blood of our community,” he told the ABC. “If people care about and love the Blue Mountains and if people care about and love this community and if people want to help this community in their time of need, the best thing they can do for us is come here.”

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Warwick Reynolds says:

    My wife and I are former B&B owners, now retired but still enjoying the news on this website.

    The most important fact that is being missed in this story is that a huge majority of the Blue Mountain attractions have not had fire anywhere near them.

    There was no fire in Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Megalong Valley and on the drive from Sydney to the Mountains visitors will not even see any of the damage done in Winmalee and the back of Springwood.

    We live in Faulconbridge and luckily only had a couple of days with smoke in the air, no fire in our section.

    On one occasion a chanel Nine reporter claimed that the whole of the Blue Mountains may have to be evacuated which was absolute rubbish and should never have gone to air.

    I hope that this can be absorbed by the press and visiting public to come and enjoy our mountains!

  2. Karen says:

    This always happens – we were affected by the Tasmanian bushfires last January – our area was cut off for several weeks but not damaged. The area is heavily dependent on tourism, we lost the peak 3 weeks of the summer season with road closures, with reduced bookings and high cancellation rates for the rest of the season. We had added costs for generator fuel etc while we were cut off. Many operators struggled to survive through the winter due to income losses during the poor summer season. Some businesses have closed, others are for sale. Many casual staff lost their jobs, or at best, had reduced hours – some of these people had lost their homes, they then lost their income. What was most disappointing was a cancellation from a tourism industry person because they did not want to see burnt trees – while telling us they wanted to help and promote tourism in the area!

    The message to get across in these situations is – if the infrastructure has not been damaged – the BEST way people can help is to come and visit the area, stay in the accommodation, eat at the eateries, do the activities, spend their money – it keeps the local businesses alive and keeps jobs in the area.

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