Victorian tourism business owners can now better prepare themselves ahead of fire seasons, thanks to CFA’s new Bushfire Planning for Tourism Businesses free online module.
The thirty-minute interactive tool that went live in mid-January has been created to help businesses better understand their respective bushfire risk and guide them through producing their own Bushfire Survival Plan.
Businesses can learn how to best communicate the information to their visitors, particularly surrounding fire ratings and warnings, and are encouraged to download marketing materials to display and distribute around their communities.
CFA Deputy Chief Officer Alen Slijepcevic said tourism businesses and their staff are valuable sources of information for visitors to any region during summer and it is important they understand the potential fire risks.
“If you run a tourism business that relies on customers during summer, you should have a bushfire plan,” Alen said.
“While some tourists are aware of the fire risk in the area they visit, others are not, and they will look to you for information. It is important they are alert, but not alarmed.
“Talking to your customers about bushfire safety doesn’t always need to be about leaving your location entirely, it could be about suggesting alternative activities for the more dangerous days.”
Alen said preparation is the key to protecting your employees, customers, and your business, and having a written plan can help you stay focused and respond when under pressure in an emergency.
“Your bushfire plan should include what will happen on certain fire danger rating days and if a fire occurs near your location, which the module will guide you through,” Alen said.
“Having a bushfire plan also ensures everyone that works in your business is aware of their roles and responsibilities, especially on a hot and windy day.
“Staying up to date via the VicEmergency App is vital to your and your visitor’s safety.”
Jo Briley from Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism looks forward to sharing the online module and bushfire plan with her regional tourism networks, while business owner Di Schulze from Countrywide Cottages who got a sneak peek has nothing but praise for the new resources.
“I love the simplicity of the module; it provided so much useful information to help us revise our bushfire plan.” Di said.
You can find the free Bushfire Planning for Tourism Businesses module and Tourism Business Bushfire Plan template on CFA’s website.