VICTORIAN tourism business owners can better plan ahead of the fire seasons with Country Fire Authority’s, CFA new Bushfire Planning for Tourism Businesses free online module.
The 30-minute interactive tool that went live in mid-January has been developed to support businesses better recognise their bushfire risk and guide them through creating their own Bushfire Survival Plan.
Businesses can learn how to best communicate the information to their visitors, especially surrounding fire ratings and warnings, and are urged to download marketing materials to present and share around their communities.
CFA deputy chief officer Alen Slijepcevic said tourism businesses and their staff were information sources for visitors to any region during summer and it was crucial they understood the potential fire risks.
“If you run a tourism business that relies on customers during summer, you should have a bushfire plan,” he 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.”
Mr Slijepcevic said preparation was the key to protecting employees, customers and a business, and having a written plan could help someone 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,” he 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.”
You can find the free Bushfire Planning for Tourism Businesses module and Tourism Business Bushfire Plan template at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/tourism.