Tourism operator records 90 per cent trade drop due to fires

AT this time of year it should be at full capacity, but Mt Barney Lodge only has a handful of people booked in.

It is usually a hotspot for tourists during this time of year but the Scenic Rim business is suffering due to the fallout from last year's fires.

It is a similar story for other tourism operators and businesses across the region.

Co-owner Tracey Larkin said many didn't see the lasting affects of the fires coming.

"At Christmas and New Year's we should have full capacity at the lodge which is 150 people on site," she said.

"We were lucky if we had 15. We realised the general turnover of the business had dropped by 90 per cent because of this bushfire incident.

"People's perception is there's nothing to come and visit. It's still very much as it was."

It has forced them to think outside the box and come up with ideas to try and draw people back to the area, while spreading the word that most of the region had not been impacted by fires.

The latest is an initiative called Summer SILHOUETTE Sculptures, which will be held until the end of the month.

Artists have donated sculptures to place along scenic points along a walking trail which are framed by the silhouette of Mt Barney.

Ideal for photos, the pictures being posted on social media reveal the view is still as beautiful as ever.

"I've been here for nearly 20 years," Mrs Larkin said.

"We've never seen anything like this. We've seen the whole mountain on fire before.

"It was nothing like (last year's fires) It felt dangerous. It felt threatening.

"We didn't know what the outcome was going to be.

"We thought that was the end of that, let's move on to business as usual. It hasn't worked out like that."



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