The Blue Mountains tourism community will be saying thank you to local Rural Fire Service brigades by donating funds from visitor tickets purchased for Saturday and Sunday, December 21-22.
There will also be physical donation points at Scenic World and participating businesses over the same weekend, with all proceeds going directly to the South Katoomba and Katoomba/Leura Rural Fire Service Brigades.
The fundraising campaign is a small gesture of appreciation for these brigades who have been working over the past couple of weeks to keep the Ruined Castle Fire at bay - and to support ongoing firefighting efforts in the region.
Under advice from the NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Scenic World was closed from December 2-6 due to the Ruined Castle Fire and worsening weather conditions.
Normally open every day of the year, it marked the attraction's first closure since 1973, which at the time was due to a heavy rain event. Other local businesses were also affected, including Blue Mountains Explorer Bus which closed from December 3-12 because of closures to popular lookouts and Scenic World.
Since reopening on Saturday, December 7, Scenic World's managing director Anthea Hammon, and the Scenic World team, have been thankful to the Rural Fire Service for their efforts.
"Over the last few weeks I've been extremely grateful for the level of support and protection that Scenic World and the Blue Mountains community has received from the Rural Fire Service, NSW Fire & Rescue and National Parks," she said.
"Some of our own team members are RFS volunteers who have been fighting fires locally and I am very proud of their efforts. This fundraising opportunity allows us to give back to our local services."
Tourism is the second largest employer in the Blue Mountains and impacts to the industry have detrimental knock-on effects to local employment.
Jason Cronsaw, the President of Blue Mountains Tourism Association (BMATA), and Managing Director of Blue Mountains Explorer Bus said: "Our tourism community is resilient and I am proud that we can come together to support our local emergency services, who ensure that our community remains safe. Once again we can welcome tourists safely back to our beautiful region, and maintain an ongoing sustainable tourism industry in the Blue Mountains".
On Saturday, December 21 to Sunday, December 22 the following tourism businesses are participating in fundraising for the South Katoomba and Katoomba/Leura RFS Brigades:
- Scenic World - $2 from every ticket sold
- Blue Mountains Explorer Bus - $2 from every ticket sold
- The Carrington Hotel - $10 per room booked, $1 per food and drink order.
- Hotel Mountain Heritage and Falls Mountain Retreat Wentworth Falls - 10 per cent from all direct bookings.
- Equeva Group's Metropole Hotel, Heritage Motel, Town Centre Motel, Discovery Motel & Echo Point Village - $10 from every hotel booking
- Kurrara Historic Guest House - $10 for each booking
- No. 14 Lovel Street Hostel - $2 for each booking
- Escarpment Group collection of luxury hotels (Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Echoes Boutique Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, and the Hydro Majestic Hotel) will contribute $10 per hotel room booking and $2 per high tea booking.
Locals can also donate at physical collection points within these participating businesses.
In addition and as a further thank you to local emergency services, from January 13-26, Scenic World and Blue Mountains Explorer Bus will be offering free entry for all members and their families of Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue Brigades, and fire crews from National Parks and Wildlife Services.
"We know it may be a challenging fire season for local crews, we hope to offer some respite for our fire fighters to enjoy a day off relaxing with their famillies at Scenic World and Explorer Bus," said Ms Hammon.
For more information, visit www.Scenicworld.com.au.