Aussie start-up connecting bushfire affected businesses with travellers
Social initiatives aimed to help fire ravaged communities and small businesses get back on their feet are popping up all over the country as Aussies come to terms with the consequences of the bushfire crisis.
Zoë Manderson, co-founder of travel start-up Alpaca Travel, decided to employ her knowledge in the latest mapping technology to contribute to the bushfire relief cause in a different way.
With a passion for tourism, within 24 hours Ms Manderson co-ordinated the launch of Roadtrip For Good, a social initiative that highlights businesses in fire affected regions and lets tourists know they are open for business.
“In addition to donating, I really wanted to encourage people back to these towns after the dust settles – to buy their coffee, eat their food, stay a night,” Ms Manderson explained.
Alpaca allows brands and tour operators to create maps and plot routes, tours and itineraries for prospective travellers.
So, much like her original start-up, Roadtrip For Good, allows roadtrippers to use the map guide to explore fire impacted communities and engage the trip planner to save their favourite spots and create their own itinerary.
“Our little way of showing support is to inspire people to travel back to fire affected communities in the coming weeks and months, to spend their money, and help support local businesses,” Ms Manderson said.
“We envisage this being a long-term project, as the longer-term support, we believe, is really important in helping these regions get back on their feet.”
“Even if not directly affected by the fires, these communities will be holding heavy hearts. We want people to go with wide smiles and open wallets and show these towns that we care.”
Roadtrip For Good will continue to grow the project over the coming weeks, just in time for an Easter long weekend roadtrip.
Ms Manderson believes that while the initiative is simple, it’s powerful.
“We are hoping that Australians will be inspired to think of their holidays a little differently from now on, to ensure that our regional towns not only survive, but thrive,” she said.