Kangaroos, Mungo National Park, New South Wales © Destination NSW
Travelling to Australia is one of the best ways to help bushfire recovery
There are many ways you can help with Australia’s recovery effort as fire-affected communities get back on their feet. Now more than ever, Australia needs your support.
While the impact of the recent bushfires has been devastating, the display of support from people in Australia and around the world extending the hand of mateship to those affected has been incredibly inspiring.
Many have suffered terribly with the bushfires, including the huge number of people who rely on the tourism industry to support themselves and their families. More than 660,000 people in Australia depend on tourism for their livelihoods – that’s over 5.2% of the nation’s workforce. It’s a long road ahead, but as the world has seen, the optimism in the heart of all Australians will prevail.
Your support is essential in helping Australia recover.
If you’d like to contribute to the relief effort, here are a few ways you can help.
Reschedule rather than cancel
If you have current Australian travel plans that are affected by bushfires, consider rescheduling your trip rather than cancelling it. Have flexibility in your plans and travel to alternative destinations that are safe. Australia is a big country and even though some destinations have been affected by bushfires, there are many that have not and are safe for travel. A visit to an unaffected area will help keep Australia’s tourism industry strong, ready to welcome back the beloved experiences that have been damaged by fire. When you are able to visit areas that have been impacted, the communities will welcome you with resilient smiles.
Start planning a trip now
Travelling to Australia in the next six to 12 months is one of the most significant ways you can help long-term recovery. Most of Australia’s beautiful destinations have not been affected and are eager to welcome visitors. Unfortunately, this season’s fires have the potential to damage Australia’s tourism industry long-term, as well as the many people who depend on welcoming visitors to the home that they love. As fire-affected areas begin to recover, the role of tourists will be more vital than ever. Stop by the corner café, say “g’day” to the locals, and stay overnight – #GoWithEmptyEskies and fill your suitcase with souvenirs and unforgettable stories. Your travels will mean the world to these communities, and you’ll carry a little piece of these places with you when you leave.
Buy, eat and support local businesses
Many businesses in affected areas are still operating, and they are counting on support as they recover. Buying items from companies located in impacted communities is a huge help as families and local economies bounce back. Join the ‘buy from the bush’ movement and purchase items from communities recovering from bushfires. Every purchase from these small businesses is food on the table and bills paid, allowing victims to focus on rebuilding.
Several organisations across the country are working tirelessly to help those affected by bushfires. Donating to a charity of your choice will provide much-needed aid to fire victims, fire services and wildlife rescues.
Travel with purpose as you help wildlife
Australia’s wildlife is some of the most unique in the world. While our wildlife is abundant, it’s also vulnerable to the effects of bushfire. One way to help is by donating – there are several organisations protecting, rescuing and rehabilitating native animals. You can also help by visiting these incredible animals in parks and sanctuaries across the country. Though a number of animals have sadly been impacted by the bushfires, there are so many wildlife experiences that remain open to travellers.
The many online messages of support have been nothing short of extraordinary. As kind words and astounding generosity have been shared across the globe, so have some inaccurate and misleading images. These types of images bring more hardship on those who count on tourists to thrive. To show your support as communities emerge from these fires and begin to heal, be aware of misleading posts and ensure images are accurate before sharing. Doing so is a sign of respect to the victims of these fires, as well as the firefighters and volunteers working so hard to help protect Australia and Australians.