Tourism Cares has partnered with the Caribbean Hotel and
Tourism Association (CHTA) to establish the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund, a
relief effort for islands hit hard by Hurricane Irma.
The goal of the fund is to speed the recovery and return of
tourism to St. Martin/St. Maarten, Barbuda, St. Barts, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and other islands.
"Along with housing and infrastructure, it is also
critical to restore the tourism and livelihoods of these communities," the
organizations wrote in a joint statement about the newly established fund.
The fund will pool the industry's resources to focus on
tourism, providing monetary support as well as support in the form of manpower
"While CHTA is still surveying the damage, we know
local tourism infrastructure such as visitor centers, beaches, monuments,
attractions and trails have been badly affected. ... We also know
the cultural organizations in those areas face damage and new challenges
wrought by this disaster," the organizations stated.
The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund will be used for
training and education initiatives for displaced travel professionals, restoration
of attractions, and other investments based on need, which can include
everything from volunteer management training to marketing to communications
The goal is to help affected islands be ready for the spring
and summer 2018 travel season.