devastation we have seen is heartbreaking'
Help a mate: caravan industry acts as
killer fires leave trail of destruction
Have your say
AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the caravanning
industry has waded in to help businesses recover from
the nation's worst bushfires in living memory.
"The devastation that we have seen across media in the past weeks due to
bushfires is heartbreaking," Caravan Industry Association of Australia
chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) said.
"Our sincerest appreciation goes out to all industry personnel and those
volunteers on the ground who are battling these conditions to save lives
and property in the most trying of circumstances."
Bushfires in NSW, Victoria and SA have left
more than 23 people dead, destroyed thousands of homes and devastated
caravan parks. An estimated one billion animals have perished.
Mr Lamont said many affected areas should be brimming with tourists but
whole regions remained closed.
Some caravan parks have suggest it could be over
a month before they reopen.
"To put this in context, we may see up to 3.8 million nights at risk due
to evacuations, lost bookings and forward cancellations in the coming
months," he said.
"The refunding of deposits alone in some cases will cripple businesses.
"The financial and emotional toll is significant and will take many months
or years to recover from."
The return of tourist would be vital in helping parks begin the long
process of getting back on their feet.
'This goes not only for
areas under threat'
"This goes not only for those areas currently under threat but those for
whom have already been affected this bushfire season dating back to
September last year," Mr Lamont said.
As the industry's national association it had been liaising with Federal
Government ministers and agencies as well as other industry associations
to make sure the issues impacting the industry's businesses were
highlighted in any recovery discussions.
"We are also working closely with caravan state associations and park
chains in affected regions who have already provided incredibly useful
practical information for their member businesses throughout the crisis,"
"The one thing I love about our industry is the willingness to 'help a
mate' in time of crisis, and over the past week I have been receiving
calls from concerned industry businesses ‒
including our colleagues overseas ‒ wanting to
know how they can help.
"To this end we have decided to put a call out to industry wishing to
assist through a quarantined industry marketing fund which will be used to
directly encourage future visitation to affected areas once it is safe for
tourists to return.
"A dedicated working group of skilled personnel will be formed to make
sure that any funds received are put to best use where they are most
"Any 'help a mate'
bushfire activity will be in addition to our ongoing and existing
commitment to broader industry stimulus marketing which continues through
this period showcasing the benefits of a caravanning and camping holiday."
Mr Lamont said the fund had already been kicked off with generous
donations from Dometic ($10,000) and Vic Parks ($10,000).
"Caravan Industry Victoria has also pledged money and people, and
individual businesses have already got in on the act with Mandurah Caravan
& Tourist Park pledging the proceeds of their Australia Day activities
towards the fund," he said.
People wanting to support their "mates" and contribute something to help
drive visitation back to crippled regions are urged to email
email@example.com in the first instance.
"In the meantime, we continue to hope for our industry businesses safety
and that of our industry employees and their families, as well as the
volunteer services in the regions assisting in getting through what are
unprecedented times," Mr Lamont added.
BACK TO CARAVANNING NEWS MAIN PAGE
No part of this
publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written
permission of Dennis Amor.
All Rights Reserved