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CEO DATELINE – Travel associations push for donations to help Harvey, Irma victims

Sept. 13, 2017
By Walt Williams

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Twelve travel industry associations are seeking donations for a relief fund to aid recovery efforts in areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Tourism Cares is a charitable nonprofit established by the tourism industry in 2003 to foster volunteerism and charitable giving in tourism destinations. The organization has Destination Disaster Recovery Fund used to help speed up restoration efforts after a disaster.

Donations to the fund will be used to help the three areas most affected by the two hurricanes: the Caribbean, the Texas Gulf Coast and the hardest hit parts of Florida and the Florida Keys, according to the associations.

“Whether or not you do business in Texas, the Caribbean or Florida, it's important to make a donation of any size,” said Don Welsh, CEO of Destinations International. “The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters is a great concern to all of us—and they can happen anywhere.  We need to be ready and we need to act together.”

The 11 other associations seeking donations are the American Bus Association, American Society of Travel Agents, Cruise Lines International Association, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, National Association of Career Travel Agents, National Tour Association, Skål International USA, Southeast Tourism Society, Student & Youth Tourism Association, U.S. Tour Operators Association and U.S. Travel Association.

Donations can be made online at