ORGANISERS of Asia Pacific’s longest-running business events show and Tourism Australia have issued assurances to visitors concerned about the bush fires that have ravaged rural areas in the east of the country.
Talk2Media, which manages the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event in Melbourne, says the February show will go ahead and cities across Australia are continuing to welcome visitors.
Tourism Australia is issuing regular updates on the fires that have swept rural New South Wales and have also erupted in other states. The fires have led to communities evacuating and a devastating effect on wildlife.
A weblink updating visitors on affected areas can be accessed here.
“While some parts of [Victoria] state are experiencing challenging conditions, we want to reassure our community that Melbourne and many regional destinations have not been impacted and are welcoming visitors,” a spokesman for AIME said.
“We look forward to seeing you all in Melbourne for the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event this February for what will be an amazing show. We will keep you updated on any relevant changes in conditions
“To those in our community who have been affected by the bushfires, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.”
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, where the AIME trade show and conferences will take place, was turned into a relief centre for more than 200 people evacuated from Mallacoota, East Gippsland, about 523km east of Melbourne, on January 4.
A spokesman for Tourism Australia said: “Whilst the emergency response to the bushfires and the safety of communities and visitors in affected areas continues to be the number one priority, we know that the majority of our most popular destinations have not been affected by the fires and they need our support to get people on planes now and booking ahead for next year.
“Tourism Australia’s priority over the coming weeks is to ensure our vital tourism industry, which benefits so many individuals, communities and businesses right across the country, can continue to thrive.
“We are working to spread the message that the best way to help Australia’s tourism industry is to still visit, whilst at the same time providing factual information as to where the risk areas are at any given time. This as you know, can change from day to day.”
If you would like to help with the bushfire response and recovery, Tourism Australia has listed organisations where donations can be made:
• Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery
• Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
• St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal
• NSW Rural Fire Service
• SA Country Fire Service
• Victoria Country Fire Authority
• Victorian Bush Fire Appeal
• Wildlife Rescue (WIRES)