THE WIMMERA has been largely unaffected by fires compared to other parts of Australia but the coverage of the crisis has impacted tourism in the region.
The United States upgraded its travel warning for Australia to level two on Friday, which states that people should exercise increased caution due to bushfires.
Tourism Australia released a statement on Monday informing people that most destinations in Australia were safe and that the best way to support the economy was to keep visiting.
"It is more important than ever to support Australian tourism providers, whether in unaffected regions or those that will recover from these bushfires in the months and years to come," the statement said.
"If you cannot travel to an affected area due to bushfires, one of the many ways to help includes rescheduling instead of cancelling a planned trip to support the communities in the coming months."
Tourism Australia provided a guide about which tourist sites were affected, as have Visit Victoria.
Grampians Tourism chief executive Marc Sleeman said the perception that Victoria was closed to tourism from bushfires had significantly impacted businesses.
"There has been a slowing down and cessation for bookings," he said.
"On the flip side we have been picking up new bookings from people who had been planning to travel to places like Bright, as well as international tourists coming here instead of Kangaroo Island."
Mr Sleeman said Grampians Tourism was receiving marketing and financial support from federal and state tourism agencies to bolster their visitor numbers and get the message out that the region was open to business.
"It is reassuring to have that support because the operators here are predominantly small businesses," he said.
"We are also taking about $40-50,000 in funds from our winter marketing budget to go towards a short term tactical campaign."
Wimmera Mallee Tourism chairman Ron Ismay said he hadn't heard of any decline in the number of tourists on the Silo Art Trail but acknowledged it is hard to explain the bushfire risk to people.
"It's like that Boxing Day tsunami that hit Indonesia," he said. "There's an awful lot of Indonesia that wasn't affected but people were still concerned.
"People think there are fires everywhere. How do you get that message through that the Wimmera hasn't really been affected?"
Mr Ismay said he hadn't really considered the impact of travel warnings on tourism in the region but said with a long summer ahead there could be issues.
"Some of the worst fires have often been in March," he said.
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