Tourism operators have sent out an SOS to holidaymakers to book short breaks in the areas that were affected by recent bushfires.
The Hills, Hawkesbury & Riverlands Tourism Organisation chief executive officer, Lori Modde, said they could help many businesses in the Hawkesbury and lower Blue Mountains area to recover from the ordeal.
“By taking weekend or mid-week breaks to one of these affected areas you can help many local businesses,’’ she said.
“Some restaurants have had cancellations equating to over 200 covers, a business loss of thousands of dollars.
‘‘Accommodation operators have also experienced many cancellations for upcoming weekends, not to mention the Christmas period – which is often one of the busiest times of year.’’
She said the bushfires that swept through the Hawkesbury Highlands areas of Bilpin, Mt Tomah, Berambing, Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine had left a trail devastation.
“There are still many things to see and do in the Hawkesbury area,’’ she said.
‘‘Come and witness the miracle of the Australian bush as it turns from black to green in the coming months.
‘‘Stay and eat somewhere you never have before.
‘‘Tourism is a community industry.
‘‘When a visitor spends a dollar, that dollar is then often multiplied in its effect to the community.’’
Jessica Quagliata and Wayne Jenkins, the owners of the beautiful Lochiel House in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, are among many tourism operators to have felt the lack of business.
“It’s a real shame that this tragedy swept through this lovely corner of the world,’’ Mr Jenkins said.
‘‘These recent events present an opportunity for individuals in surrounding regions to show their true Aussie spirit, to lend a hand and come and support the locals.’’
Visit www.hhart.com.au to see what the region has to offer.