Eileen Saunders Travel Counsellors agent insight

Reflecting on Australia's bushfire crisis

Eileen Saunders from Travel Counsellors discusses how important it is to communicate to the clients that entire Australia is not a no-go area.

Happy New Year, everyone! I wonder what 2020 will bring our way? Each year, the industry faces a whole new set of problems, but we are such a resilient lot that no matter what happens, we always rise to the challenge.

Tourism is a vital part of many countries’ economies so when major events, whether they are political upheavals or natural disasters, hit the headlines, this causes great concern to everyone. It is essential for us to take account of Foreign Office advice but all of us in the trade have our part to play.

The current situation in Australia is a prime example. We need to be positive and reassure customers and potential visitors as much as possible by sharing accurate, up-to-date information with them.

When we see the extensive news coverage of the devastating bushfires, it could give the impression that the whole country is a no-go area, but this is simply not the case.

Many destinations in Australia remain safe and continue to welcome visitors, with all international airports operating as normal. It’s so important that we communicate this information to our customers. My son and his family live in Sydney, so I have been watching the situation closely there and, although the air quality has been poor at times, they’ve still been enjoying days at the beach.

It’s been great to see how supportive the trade has been to the relief effort in Australia, including here at Travel Counsellors. We set up a dedicated fundraising campaign with all donations going to charities and organisations fighting the fires and providing aid to people and animals affected. On January 10, the company made a donation for every booking made across the seven countries we operate in, including Australia.


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