Gippsland has many beautiful places to visit, and the population in many areas can swell by thousands as people flock to small beach-side townships or drive up the breathtaking mountains.
When an area experiences bushfire, the impacts on tourism operators and their businesses can be felt for months afterwards, long after the flames have been extinguished.
South East Region recently held tourism operator workshops across the region in Lakes Entrance, Inverloch, Morwell and Dandenong. These workshops are specifically designed to help those in the tourism industry prepare themselves and their properties for the upcoming fire season.
As we know, a written plan may save lives by helping you to stay focused and respond in the best possible way when under pressure. Preparation may also help minimise the loss of profits and get a business back up and running more quickly after the threat of fire has passed.
Topics covered in the workshops included understanding Fire Danger Ratings and warnings, informing customers, identifying triggers, deciding on procedures and when to cancel and notify guests. There were also discussions about emotional preparedness – not just their own, but dealing with other people who are anxious and in unfamiliar surroundings.
This is another example of an important community engagement activity. Thank you to our facilitator Kate Grayham for running these informative sessions.