Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) is delighted with news that the widely reported bushfire activity in the Blue Mountains has eased and the risk of a major threat, for the overwhelming majority of tourism operators, has been averted.
The Great Western Hwy and railway line continue to be fully open and it is safe for visitors to experience the many hotels, cafes, restaurants, shops and major attractions such as Scenic World at Katoomba and Jenolan Caves at Oberon.
The high traffic visitor villages of Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba are welcoming visitors. The township of Lithgow is open and Oberon remains unaffected.
National Parks & Wildlife Service and Blue Mountains City Council have re-opened major lookouts on the southern side of Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba with vehicular access.
BMLOT understands that a few businesses due to their bush location or inability to roster staff may remain temporarily closed.
While some fire activity remains in the region, and tourism operators are constantly monitoring updates, the main visitor experiences are open and visibility overlooking the World Heritage Area is great.
BMLOT chairman Randall Walker said: “We commend all involved in the enormous effort, thousands of volunteers and professionals.
“I thank all operators who have directly or indirectly supported firefighting efforts. There have been many great examples of selfless community spirit and contribution. I also thank operators for complying with the responsible advice from the Rural Fire Service.”
It is the position of BMLOT that for businesses able to operate normally, at this time:
• There is no longer a reason for a visitor to defer their visit or to cancel and seek a refund
• If a visitor wishes to proceed with a cancellation, standard cancellation fees should apply
BMLOT will work closely with Destination NSW and Tourism Australia to implement recovery campaigns.
“So many people from outside the region have been asking ‘What can we do to help?’ We can tell them the best way they can help is ‘Spoil yourself with a short break or day trip and support the many local small businesses and employers’.”