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Pinery Fire hits our tourism

Pinery Fire hits our tourism

Tourism in the Barossa region has taken a hit with cancellations and no shows occurring to Barossa accommodation and wineries following the Pinery Fires and its disastrous effect on those in the Light Regional areas and around the outskirts of the Barossa.

The days after the Pinery Fire had left many tourists scared about coming to the Barossa or had prevented them from arriving due to road closures.

Mr Lee Prettejohn, owner of the Barossa House and Barossa House Wine Tours, said that he had a couple not show up at all because they had heard bushfires were in the Barossa.

“We had a couple of accommodation dropouts. They just didn’t arrive. The reason for not arriving? They got told not to come into the Barossa Valley because of the fires.

“There were also tours cancelled because they heard that the fires were in the Barossa Valley.

“Then we got a number of calls two days after, trying to find out if the Barossa was safe. I had to assure them that it was safe and that it was on the outskirts of the Barossa itself.”

Lee explained that this is the first time that a bushfire had made people not turn up, cancelled or had people call ahead to find out if it was safe for them to come down.

The media coverage had led many to believe that the Pinery Fire was in the Barossa when only the border of the region was affected.

“I don’t think it’s a worry for the Barossa tourism. As long as we give the right information about the fires, I just think the wrong information was given,” said Lee.

The Pinery Fires burnt around the Greenock township and covered the sky with thick smoke.

Murray Street Vineyards had two groups of international guests at the cellar door when the Pinery Fire started and the staff had to keep them calm and make sure that the guests didn’t think it was the end of the world.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.