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Australia Wildfires Curtail Touring in Hardest Hit Areas

February 9, 2009 By: Mark Rogers


The death toll of 166 people continues to rise as wildfires burn across Australia’s southern state of Victoria. The area northeast of Melbourne was hardest hit, with several towns and more than 750 homes destroyed. Arson is suspected, and higher temperatures and less rainfall due to climate change is considered a contributing factor to the severity of the fires. Road closures are numerous in the region.

Billy B. Martin, co-owner of Houston-based Let’s Travel Together, and an Aussie Specialist, has been keeping track of the wildfires' impact on the region. “Everything’s holding its own in Adelaide,” he says. “I’ve heard from Janine Duffy of Achidna Walkabout, a tour operator, and all of her tours are operating, although there is one area where she’ll be suspending tours, that’s the Kingslake National Park area.”

Martin also relates the news that he’s been contacted by Josh Oakes of Melbourne Private Tours and their tours in the Healesville area have been curtailed.

“I have 20 clients preparing to go to Australia and haven’t received a single call about changing their plans,” says Martin. “If they did call, I’d assure them we could re-route their travels in Australia.”

Is your business being impacted by the fires in Australia? Please vote in our poll to the right and let us know what you and your clients are experiencing by posting your comments below.


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