How to Support Local Tourism after the Australian Bushfires
As an Australian tour operator with over 100 years’ experience in sharing this amazing country with our guests, partnerships with local communities and small businesses are the heart and soul of what we do. We truly live and breathe these communities and share a deep connection with their people. After the devastating bushfires of Summer 2019/20, there has never been a more important time to show our support for domestic tourism.
In what would have been peak season for Australian operators, the unprecedented bushfire season saw visitors from around the world told to halt their travel plans and stay away from the affected areas until they were deemed safe. These destinations included iconic holiday destinations such as Kangaroo Island in South Australia, the Gippsland region of Victoria, and New South Wales’ idyllic South Coast. As a result, domestic tourism suffered.
How Can You Help Directly While Travelling?
In the wake of the devastation, Australians are wondering how they can show their direct support, rather than just making a donation online. The Australian spirit is truly incredible, as we have seen mateship and support on a nationwide scale like never before.
There are countless fantastic ways to support relief and recovery efforts. Ways that will reward both tourists and locals.
Purchase Local Produce and Gifts
Looking to the future is important. The Empty Esky movement has been vital to bushfire recovery so far, inspiring people to go on a road trip to visit the many unique Australian towns that have been affected; taking their empty eskies and full wallets with them to spend money on local goods and services.
By visiting the affected communities and going to their farmers’ markets to buy local produce, you can give every cent of your purchases back to local producers. They will then spend the money on businesses and organisations in their districts such as schools, cafes and restaurants. Your dollar spent on their produce acts as a mini economic stimulus for the region. And you get fresh produce and local delicacies! Think locally made Brie and super fresh eggs from the Nowra Farmers Market, where you can visit and spend plenty of time perusing the abundant shelves on our Bushfire Recovery Giveback Trip to Shoalhaven.
Another way to show your support is to buy gifts. If you have a family member or friend’s birthday coming up, plan ahead and keep an eye out for gifts they might like in local specialty stores. Look for locally made crafts, artwork, leather goods and antiques from the district’s shops and boutiques. Almost every cent you spend will go back to the communities. We promise you will find people welcoming you with open arms, with overwhelming appreciation for the effort you and your road trip family have made to visit and support them.
Eat Local Food
The self-appointed foodie of your road trip family will have this section down pat. Instead of getting food from a fast-food chain, visiting local cafes and restaurants is a vital way to support local business. Particularly search for establishments that sell local produce. With many rural cafes and restaurants sourcing their food from producers in the district, visiting them and buying their products is a great way to support the entire region. Our Bushfire Recovery Giveback Trip to Shoalhaven includes a stop in Kangaroo Valley, where you are free to wonder and visit the many local cafes for morning tea and stock up on freshly baked sourdough. We heard the pies from Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop are some of Australia’s best!
Stay in Local Hotels
One of the most effective forms of bushfire relief is to simply visit and stay in a local hotel instead of putting a tent up in a campsite nearby. With many affected areas relying heavily on tourism, one of the best ways to help is to visit these areas soon, preferably in the first few months after the impact of the bushfires.
We don’t need much encouraging to want to visit the perfectly located Esplanade Resort and Spa in Lakes Entrance…
Long weekend by the beach anyone? Stay here on our Bushfire Recovery Giveback Trip to East Gippsland.
About AAT Kings
AAT Kings has been actively involved in supporting local tourism and communities around Australia for over 100 years. Local at heart, AAT Kings was one of the first to respond and provide support to the communities affected by the Bushfire epidemic. Bushfire Recovery Giveback trips are tours tailored to this cause. As well as visiting the most popular and scenic destinations in an area, local shopping time is also included to help fill up the #EmptyEsky’s. Join AAT Kings and the #EmptyEsky movement and help support this important initiative. Keep exploring Australia’s scenic gems, all the while helping local businesses get back on track.
To discover more Bushfire Recovery Giveback Trips, click here.