Midnight Musings from our CEO
We start this New Year with heavy hearts as we watch our friends and colleagues in Australia suffering the horror of extreme wildfire.
All of us in British Columbia and the Thompson Okanagan have an appreciation for the effects of wildfires but those in Australia are experiencing conditions that we can only pray we will never have to experience.
The loss of 27 lives and more than 2000 homes is devastating as the estimated 17.9 million hectares have burned so far. The toll it is taking on the wildlife is completely unfathomable. As of today, it is estimated that where they had thought approximately 480 million animals had been lost scientists are now saying that number is more likely closer to 1 billion. At least 25,000 koala bears are believed dead and many more burned and seriously injured and there is a real concern for the survival of the species. Counts are not even in yet for the loss of kangaroos and wallabies, and with such a diverse ecosystem the toll on many species will be unprecedented.
Our thanks to the enormous number of brave men and women fighting these fires from all over the world including many from right here at home. We are with you in our hearts.
There are many ways to help the cause and we encourage you to assist as you are able. Near or far we are in this together and in the months to come, we must all work to find ways to slow and prevent this type of devastation.
As a tourism industry, we also know that this type of catastrophic event can cause long term damage for tourism as a whole and travellers often cancel plans to visit even unaffected areas. This is a fact we understand all too well. We came upon this article by Amanda Wood outlining a number of ways to provide help and support including the importance of supporting the travel industry. Read Now
We are with you all the way Australia we will be there in whatever way you need us.
Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA President & CEO