Crisis Preparation and Management
It is important that your business has thought about what to do and how to interact with your guests before a crisis event presents itself.
Here are some useful resources from the authorities to guide your thinking.
Stay informed via multiple channels and regular monitoring:
- Via emergency.vic.gov.au
- Tune into local ABC, commercial and community designated radio stations or Sky News TV
|Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL)||1800 240 667|
|National Relay Service||1800 555 677|
|FireReady App||Follow @CFA_Updates|
|Parks Victoria||13 19 63||parks.vic.gov.au|
As a tourism business, located in a high-risk fire area, what are your rights and responsibilities when a customer cancels a booking and wants a refund?
How do you maintain good customer relations in this situation, while still protecting your business?
Consumer Affairs Victoria has worked with Visit Victoria to develop a guide on cancellation rights and responsibilities, including how to use a cancellation policy to avoid potential problems.
A cancellation policy should explain what happens if either you or a customer cancels a booking and must comply with the law.
The Consumer Affairs fact sheet, When customers cancel: guidance for tourism businesses, may provide some clarity.
Bushfire and fire readiness
Tourism Victoria and CFA have developed the Tourism Business Fire Ready Kit to assist businesses to prepare for fire. It will help you understand your risks, prepare your business and employees, plan how to inform customers, identify their triggers to act, and write a plan.
Hard copies of the Fire Ready Kit can also be ordered by contacting Tourism Victoria on 03 9653 9777.
For further fire planning information or support, visit cfa.vic.gov.au or call the VicEmergency Hotline: 1800 226 226
All tourism operators should be familiar with the triggers and recommended actions for Code Red, Extreme and Severe Fire Danger Ratings, which tell you how bad a fire would be if one started.
Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data for up to four days in advance, based on weather and other environmental conditions such as fuel load. During the warmer months, check Fire Danger Ratings for the North East Fire District every day so that you know when the local conditions are dangerous.
The rating is your prompt to take action to stay safe – and to make relevant fire information available to tourists in your care so that they can make their own informed decisions.
Download the Fire Danger Information sheet here.
In the event that a Code Red day is declared for the North East Fire District and you have guests booked into your accommodation or bookable activity, you may wish to consider the following:
- Alert visitors already in your care to the Code Red declaration as well as any visitors scheduled to stay in your accommodation on a Code Red day;
- Provide a copy of your local Community Information Guide (downloadable below) to help your visitors make their own informed decisions about what actions they will take on a Code Red day;
- Refer to the Consumer Affairs fact sheet, When customers cancel: guidance for tourism businesses, to consider what circumstances might apply to your booking;
- If your guest wishes to cancel their booking – as there is no explicit legislation governing cancellations in the event of a Code Red declaration, you should ensure you have decided on a consistent cancellation policy in this event. It is suggested that you attempt to maintain goodwill by negotiating to rebook the guest for another date.
The above steps would also be a prudent course of action if an Extreme Fire Danger Rating is issued.