After devastating fire followed by global pandemic, the ongoing recovery of Binna Burra Lodge in Queensland, Australia wasn’t possible without the support of people near and far who feel a connection to the place, its history, and its landscape. The story illustrates the power and value of goodwill, an intangible asset that manifested at Binna Burra as ‘solidarity tourism’. Steve Noakes tells it in this “Good Tourism” Insight.
On September 8, 2019, at the beginning of six months of what became known as Australia’s ‘Black Summer’ bushfires, the historic Binna Burra Lodge and pioneer cabins (built in the 1930s) were destroyed. They took with them the jobs of 60 staff, most of whom had to be retrenched, as well as 4,000 forward bookings, most of which had to be refunded.
Offices, computers, phone lines, and most records were destroyed. The business was gone. But suppliers still needed their invoices paid. Terminated staff had to be paid out their individual entitlements. Even the tax office demanded its scheduled payments.
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