Global Travel Market is launching an emergency fund for those suffering in the fires which have swept across Victoria in Australia.

Chief executive Dave Simmons has reactivated the emergency Travel Aid 50 account, which was set up in response to the tsunami in 2004, and has kick-started the collection with a £1,000 donation.

Now, he is appealing to other travel industry companies to give as much as they can to help the victims of the fires which started on Saturday and have killed at least 200 people and left thousands homeless after 5,000 homes were destroyed.

He added: “These numbers are expected to increase dramatically over the coming days.

“Whilst I am sure that we are all confronting challenges of our own from the current trading environment, this type of disaster simply puts everything into perspective.  Any donation, however large or small, I am sure would be greatly received.”

Simmons said all money collected will be donated to charities nominated by Tourism Victoria. Anyone wishing to donate to the charity should send a cheque made out to Travel Aid 50 to Travel Aid 50, c/o Global Travel Market, 6th Floor Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham TW1 3QS.

Meanwhile the Qantas Group has donated more than £45,000 to the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund which also aims to support individuals and communities affected by the weekend’s bushfires.

Consumers wishing to make a donation via Qantas can visit or