It would have to be one of the most enjoyable ways to help flood and cyclone victims: booking a holiday.
The travel industry, which has itself been hit hard by the natural disasters unleashed on Queensland, has thrown itself behind fund-raising efforts, launching a raft of appeals, online holiday auctions and other charitable schemes. And while it is not always possible to determine the motivation of consumers, it seems travellers are getting behind the effort.
Sunlover Holidays, which is part of the AOT Group, is auctioning holiday packages on eBay to raise money for the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal, which was set up for flood victims and later extended to victims of Cyclone Yasi. The first holiday, a five-night package for Hamilton Island, sold for $2550 – well above its $2000 value.
The managing director for online travel at AOT Group, Tom Hodgkinson, says the final bid price shows consumers are “willing to pay a little extra” to help support flood victims. Hodgkinson says auctioning Queensland holidays also helps send the message that the state is still open for business.
Flight Centre, which is donating $10 for every airline ticket or holiday package booked during a six-week period up to the end of this month, is on track to smash its $2 million fund-raising target. More than $1.8 million has already been raised for the Queensland Premier’s appeal and the company, which has its headquarters in Brisbane, expects to donate more than $3 million.
A Flight Centre spokesman, Haydn Long, says it is not… (click here to keep reading this article by Jane E. Fraser)