Blue Mountains safe and open for business

New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has today announced a $227,500 funding boost for a marketing and promotion campaign to encourage domestic and international tourists to visit the Blue Mountains region.

The Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) welcomed the commitment of extra funding in order to help promote the region as safe to visit and open for business.

BMLOT chairman Randall Walker said the past few weeks had been very challenging for the regional tourism industry, which has suffered losses of up to $2 million a day in the wake of the recent bushfires.

“We will now be able to focus on recovering to previous visitor and visitor expenditure levels of 4 million visitors and $550 million a year,” Walker said.

Commenting that the region’s tourism industry generates more than 5,100 equivalent full-time jobs, Walker said that many business owners and employees had lost their homes, and to lose their jobs would compound the devastation.

Walker said that in response to questions from the public as to how they can help the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon communities – one easy way is not to cancel or defer their visits to the region.

Walker reminded visitors that the recent bushfires occurred on the northern side of the escarpment and that the most popular visitor experiences on the southern side remained completely unaffected.

Importantly, the Great Western Highway and railway line has remained fully open to the upper mountains throughout the reporting of fire activity.

Premier O’Farrell also encouraged people to support the region by visiting area.

“I’m concerned motels and B&Bs are reporting cancellations and businesses are suffering, so I want to send the message to everyone that the Blue Mountains are open for business.”

For current bushfire updates, please consult the NSW Rural Fire Service website.

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