Tourism Vic advises on ‘what you can do & being proactive’
Summer 2006/07 is shaping up to be one of Victoria’s most severe bushfire seasons. There are fires in the north east and Gippsland, and many other parts of regional and outer metropolitan Victoria are on high bushfire alert.
It does make sense to be prepared and Tourism Vic offers the following info to help bushfire affected businessowners manage current and future bookings – now or over the coming months.
What you can do – reassurance & being positive
The business’ website is the ideal way to inform existing and potential customers that you are open for business as normal, or temporarily closed. When making this decision, remember that you have a duty of care to your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they might want to do.
Consider the visitor experience – you may be in a bushfire affected zone but not directly threatened by fire. An online message to this effect will reassure customers, but you may need to advise them, for example, that smoke is likely to restrict their sightseeing.
If you are staying open, reassure customers that it is currently safe to visit. If you do need to close, encourage customers to defer rather than cancel their booking.
Your customers will be anxious and are likely to have many questions:
Do not assume that silence means that your customers are happy. Take action now to reinforce the ‘business as usual’ message. Some useful things you can do to protect your business:
What Tourism Victoria is doing
Tourism Victoria is informing visitors, via visitvictoria.com, of areas that are safe to visit across the state. We are also working closely with industry through the Bushfire Response and Recovery Groups in Gippsland and the North East and the Strategic Response Group that will coordinate State Government liaison and guide the recovery process once the initial response phase has passed.
This advice is based on the London Development Agency’s Guide to Crisis Management for Tourism Businesses. It seems practical and sound, I think you would agree.