This photo was taken from the balcony of Peppers in the Noosa National Park. It is a truely special part of Australia where the sunsets are magical everyday, the food is delicious and fresh every where you go and the beaches sparkle as far as the eye can see.
A news article today from SBS News says that the whole of the Australian Tourism industry is suffering as a result of images scaring off travellers.
Popular tourist destinations such as Kangaroo Island in South Australia and Batemans Bay in New South Wales have already been devastated by the fires. Tourists are being deterred from visiting our amazing country with the United States Department of State upgrading its travel advisory level for Australia to level two – the same as Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea!
As catastrophic bushfires blaze across the country, the tourism industry is taking an enormous blow. Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has pleaded for fire-affected businesses and communities not to be ignored. “Australia is still open for business and that most destinations around Australia remain safe and are unaffected by bushfires,” he told the ABC. “At every step of the recovery we will work closely with the industry on how to not only rebuild infrastructure where required but also to promote Australia in ways that keep the tourists coming and avoid even greater harm being unnecessarily felt by our tourism businesses.”
This is why I’ve started the hashtag #AustraliaStayHere. I want to try to focus on how fantastic Australia still is to visit. And while we might have donated everything we can to charities and we physically might not be able to be on the front line fighting the fires, we are not helpless. We can help those financially impacted by the fire by supporting their businesses and help them get back on their feet again.
So please share your beautiful images of Australia using the hashtag #AustraliaStayHere then nominate 2 of your friends to do the same.
THE CALL FOR SUPPORT
On Wednesday Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked Australians to holiday locally.
“I have spoken to many leaders, particularly in the last 24 hours — that Australia is open, Australia is still a wonderful place to come and bring your family and enjoy your holidays,” he said.
Fiona Mutton, from Braidwood near several of the major NSW South Coast fires, said her homewares store had never encountered such as devastating situation before.
“December and January account for about 35 per cent of our annual turnover and we rely heavily on that bumper-to-bumper traffic that we would normally see this time of year, of all the Canberrans coming through to the Coast,” she said.
“And as you can see from the streets outside, it’s a ghost town.”
Senator Birmingham said buying produce was one way to support local businesses.
“Bega Cheese has made an appeal [on Thursday] about their business, their brand, the dairy farmers they support in southern New South Wales,” he said, calling for support for South Australian winemakers and other producers across the country.
WHERE YOU CAN FOLLOW ALONG
You can follow the #AustraliaStayHere movement on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (Yep I started a board there too so you can pin your next holiday wish list!) and even TikTok (although I’m still learning the ropes over there). I will also be adding as many locations to the accomodation listings on our Family Friendly Directory as possible.
You should also check out @spendwiththem launched by Turia Pitt for shops who need your support.
Inside you will find:
- Tips for talking to your children about climate change and the recent Australian Bushfire crisis.
- Climate Action Checklist: 43 simple things you can do now with your family to reduce your waste and overall footprint.
- Direct action you can take immediately: Where you can donate.