Blue Mountains Tourism Donates $19,500 To Local Rural Fire Services
The Blue Mountains tourism community has announced that it will be donating $19,500 to local Rural Fire Service Brigades after uniting to hold a fundraising campaign just before Christmas.
Participating tourism operators including Scenic World, Blue Mountains Explorer Bus and a number of leading hotels and resorts pledged to donate a portion of ticket and hotel bookings from Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 December. The donation will be split between the South Katoomba and Katoomba/Leura Rural Fire Service Brigades.
Scenic World’s Managing Director, Anthea Hammon, said that the fundraising campaign began as a small gesture of appreciation for these brigades, who have been working tirelessly since November to keep the Blue Mountains community safe.
“There was a real sense of gratitude within the team at Scenic World and throughout the Blue Mountains tourism industry for our local brigades and the work they have done,” she said.
“We all wanted to do something to give back, so this fundraising campaign was one way of saying ‘Thank you’ and furthermore, providing support for the ongoing firefighting efforts in our region.”
Tourism is the second largest employer in the Blue Mountains and the industry has experienced negative economic impacts due to bushfires in the past. An estimated $47 million dollars in tourism dollars were lost as a result of the 2013 bushfires, in part due to visitors delaying their return long after it was safe to do so.
Jason Cronsaw, the President of Blue Mountains Tourism Association (BMATA), and Managing Director of Blue Mountains Explorer Bus believes that with support and collaboration from local and state tourism the region will bounce back, thanks in part to the efforts of the Rural Fire Service.
“All tourism operators have experienced a tough Summer so far with visitation well down, when compared with previous years,” he said.
“In spite of this, it’s important to recognise what our local emergency services have done to ensure the safety of our community, this donation is a small token of our gratitude. I’m confident that with areas of the Blue Mountains National Park continuing to reopen, we will start to see visitors coming back to our beautiful part of the world.”
The Blue Mountains tourism operators contributing to this donation are:
• Scenic World
In addition and as a further thank you to our local fire emergency services, from 13–26 January Scenic World and Blue Mountains Explorer Bus will be offering free family passes for all members of Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue Brigades, and fire crews from National Parks and Wildlife Services.
More information on this offer can be found here.