As the magnitude of the Haiti earthquake continues to unfold, the travel industry is reacting by setting up fundraising initiatives for disaster relief and recovery for the victims in the area.

Below is the latest update of the services and aid being provided by travel companies worldwide. 

• The Caribbean Tourism Organization mobilized its Disaster Relief Fund to channel monetary assistance to Haiti. Checks in U.S. Dollars can be written to the CTO Relief Fund and sent to CTO's New York office at 80 Broad St., 32nd Floor, New York City 10004. Funds also can be transferred directly to the relief fund, JP Morgan Chase Bank, 401 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017.  

Travel Guard will provide free emergency travel and medical assistance services to travelers and families affected by the earthquake. Services available include coordination of emergency medial arrangements and evacuations, temporary lodging, cash wire transfers, passport replacement, translation services, message relay, emergency travel arrangements and luggage tracking. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all whose lives have been devastated by this tragic event," said Dean Sively, CEO of Travel Guard North America.

AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle, is offering mileage incentives to its frequent flyer program members for contributing to the Red Cross. Effective Jan. 14, members can earn a one-time bonus of 250 miles for a minimum donation of $50 or 500 miles for a donation of $100 or more through Feb. 28. "We invite our customers to join us in supporting the American Red Cross.We appreciate and acknowledge their generosity with this opportunity to earn Aadvantage miles," said Peter Dolara, senior vice president. The carriers also are transporting medical personnel and supplies to the country.

Spirit Airlines will give 5,000 Spirit miles to the first 200,000 members who donate at least $5 to UNICEF, the Red Cross or Yele Haiti. Members must register online by Jan. 17 to participate. In addition, Spirit will give $75 to Yele for every qualified person who applies for and uses a FREE SPIRIT MasterCard, up to $10 million. Customers must open an account by Jan. 25 and use it once by March 31 in order for the donation to be made.

United Airlines through its United Airlines Foundation will match up to a total of $50,000 to the American Red Cross for monetary donations that United customers and employees make to the organization through its International Response Fund. In addition, Mileage Plus members and employees can donate miles to the airline's nonprofit relief partners as part of its Charity Miles program. United also is flying up to 30 relief flights between the U.S. and Haiti, with the first departing Jan. 20 with various relief workers and 15,000 pounds of water donated by Walgreens, 384 sleeping tents from Feed the Children and communications equipment from Airline Ambassadors. On the return flight, United will be transporting people from Haiti to the U.S.

Royal Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas will carry relief supplies to Labadee, Haiti, Friday and the line plans to send additional relief on the Navigator of the Seas and the Liberty of the Seas on Monday and Tuesday. John Weis, RCCL's associate vice president of private destinations and overseer of Labadee operations, wrote on Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein's blog, "We are committed to continuing calls to Labadee with Independence of the Seas tomorrow. There were a lot of discussions about this, but in the end, Labadee is critical to Haiti's recovery and hundreds of people rely on Labadee for their livelihood."

Choice Hotels said that members of its Choice Privileges rewards program could donate points to organizations such as the Red Cross.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts partnered with the Red Cross to collect hotel points from members of its Starwood Preferred Guest program to help with relief efforts.

 • Travelers on Continental, Delta and US Airways can donate their frequent flyer miles to the American Red Cross.

JetBlue is in contact with several organizations that are working with the Red Cross and the Give Them A Hand organization. JetBlue serves Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from New York Kennedy, Boston, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and San Juan and plans to utilize open seats for relief workers.

Southwest Airlines has partnered with the Red Cross and has encouraged its 35,000 employees to donate.

Hilton HHonors, the hotel chain's loyalty program has partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Socieities For every point donated, Hilton will donate $25 to the earthquake relief effort.

Airline Ambassadors, a nonprofit affiliated with the United Nations, is in talks with United, JetBlue, Southwest and American about getting relief flights to Haiti and has pledged to donate 25% of the cost for fuel with airline partners covering 75% of the cost.

Marriott is giving 18,000 loyalty points to customers who donate $50.

• Mike Spinelli, former ASTA president, is affiliated with Pure Water for the World, which mobilizes food and water distribution following a natural disaster. The group’s Haiti location is in Petionville, heavily damaged in the earthquake. Both Spinelli and Patrick O’Shea, longtime travel industry veteran, have been involved in Haiti for years, helping to raise funds for the building and operation of the Timkatec orphanage and schools,, also in Petionville and also heavily damaged. Many of the 600 children in the orphanage remain unaccounted for. Donations for the orphanage are handled by Catholic Relief Services.

Reed Expositions in the U.K. has set up a Just Help Haiti program to coordinate donations within the travel and tourism industry to support the provision of clean water and sanitation procedures.

Virgin Atlantic is flying medical personnel, rescue teams and supplies to Miami, Orlando and Jamaica ,where arrangements will be made for transfers to Haiti. The carrier’s Virgin Unite foundation is working with the Disasters Emergency Committee to deliver aid. The aid includes hundreds of ShelterBoxes. Each box contains a disaster relief tent for 10 people, blankets, a stove and other survival items.

LIAT offered the use of one of its aircraft to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency for ferrying relief supplies to Haiti.

• The NTA home page links to the official Haiti website,, where information on relief efforts is listed.

Auto Europe is pledging $5 per reservation booked by any U.S. travel agent now through June 30 toward a relief fund to assist the people of Haiti.

Hotel Nikko in San Francisco will match guests' contributions dollar for dollar for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund. Guests can contribute in cash or add any amount onto their hotel bill.

Northstar Travel Media (parent company of Travel Weekly) and its employees in its Secaucus, N.J., headquarters can make donations through United Way of Hudson County to the Haiti relief effort. NTM will match employees' contributions up to $50 per person.

• Amerijet International, which has operated scheduled weekly charter flights to Haiti since 1995, opened its facilities in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Houston and New York to collect rice, dried beans, tents and money. All cash donations collected will be given to The Women of the Roundtable, a Fort Lauderdale-based organization. The group has established a relief fund and will use the cash donations to purchase food supplies for Haiti.

• Delaware North Companies donated over 17,000 bottles of water the day after the earthquake. In addition, the company has made donations to several relief organizations on behalf of its 50,000 global workforce.

The Embassy of Haiti in Washington, supported by the Caribbean Professional Network, will be the site of a fundraiser and donation drive Jan. 17 in support of the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians. NOAH is looking for baby supplies, clothing, games for children, hygiene items, first aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, shoes, sheets, nonperishable food and paper plates and cups.

InterContinental Hotels Group is asking members of its Priority Club Rewards program to donate points in 10,000-point denominations to the American Red Cross. In addition, the company is encouraging its employees, owners and hotels to make contributions to be given to CARE

Best Western said that members of its Best Western Rewards program can contribute 5,000 points, which translates to $20, to World Vision, Best Western's official charity partner. In addition, Best Western hoteliers can donate via their monthly member statements and employees can donate cash and vacation time. 

Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, launched its Haiti Relief Fund to support the Salesian Missions and Popular Services International in Haiti. Donations can be made online; on-site at any of the Sandals, Beaches, Royal Plantation and Grand Pineapple resorts in the Caribbean; or by mail at the Sandals Foundation/Haiti Relief Fund, 4950 SW 72nd Ave., Miami, FL 33155.

• The Canaveral Port Authority in Florida, in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Port Canaveral tenants' Ambassador Services Inc. and American Cruise Aid Logistics, is coordinating aid efforts for Haiti. The community is asked to donate water and dry food products, such as beans and rice, as well as cooking oil. The items should be placed in cardboard boxes for easier storage and shipping. Donations will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Jan. 21 at Canaveral Port Authority Headquarters, Maritime Center, 445 Challenger Rd., on the south side of the port.

Hideaways International has linked with the American Red Cross by acting as a collection point for guests who want to donate to Haiti relief efforts. Mike Thiel, founder/president, said that travelers can join the Hideaways Aficionado Club for the regular one-year membership fee of $195, of which $100 will be contributed to the Red Cross's Haiti disaster relief fund in the traveler's name. A future issue of the company's newsletter will detail how much was raised and contributed to the Red Cross for Haiti.

• IsramWorld’s contributions to Doctors Without Borders are being diverted solely to aid the organization’s work in Haiti, according to CEO A. Ady Gelber. The firm, which annually donates to Doctors Without Borders for each of its clients, is doubling the size of its donations in light of the Haiti disaster. 

• The owners of Atlantis, RSVP and Olivia, three gay cruise companies, have joined forces with the American Red Cross to collect donations from the LGBT community. Atlantis/RSVP pledged $15,000 in matching contributions, Olivia pledged $7,500 and is offering a limited number of free cruises to those who contribute $7,500 or more. 

• The Marriott Foundation is donating $500,000 to the Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund to aid with immediate relief efforts such as providing water, medical supplies, food and shelter. Marriott has no hotels in Haiti, but its properties in San Juan and the Dominican Republic are serving as staging areas for the relief efforts in Haiti. 

• The Maho Group in St. Maarten established a Haiti Relief Fund at its resorts in St. Maarten. Guests at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino and Royal Islander Club’s La Terrasse and La Plage resorts can give a voluntary $1 per room, per each day of their stay, through Feb. 28. The Maho Group will match that donation in an effort to raise $50,000 in relief funds. All funds will be donated to regional chapters of the Red Cross and UNICEF. 

• Tour operator Island Destinations will donate $5 to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières for each Caribbean and Mexican-Caribbean booking through Feb. 15.

• The U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association and Yacht Haven Grande Marina in St. Thomas will host a special concert Jan. 23 to raise money for Haiti. All proceeds will be donated to the relief efforts of the Amerian Red Cross.

Red Cross Aruba is collecting funds from Aruban citizens and companies. The donations will be sent to Red Cross International. In addition, local doctors and surgeons are going to Haiti along with Red Cross volunteers from Aruba.

AMResorts, which has several properties in the Dominican Republic under the Zoetry, Secrets and Dreams brands, urges guests coming to the D.R. in the near future to bring medical supplies with them. The supplies, which will be delivered to local relief centers, range from ibuprofen and antiseptics to gauze and elastic bandages. A complete list is at  

Grand Circle Travel is matching customers' donations to Haiti. More than 3,500 travelers have donated to Haiti relief efforts after the firm emailed its customers about the Haitian Disaster Relief initiative, according to Priscilla O'Reilly, director of public relations. The Grand Circle Foundation donated $500,000 to the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

Collette Vacations CEO Dan Sullivan Jr. pledged to match up to $50,000 in relief donations from employees, travelers and travel partners through its Collette Foundation. The foundation is working with Partners in Health in Haiti. is offering a 20% discount on medical and evacuation coverage for U.S. travelers heading to Haiti to aid in relief efforts.

Carlson will donate $50,000 and will match employee contributions up to an additional $60,000. All contributions will go to The American Red Cross.

• The American Bus Association and its charitable arm, the ABA Foundation, announced a joint donation of $25,000 to help disaster relief in Haiti. The funds will be dispersed through the American Red Cross.

Carnival Corp. and its affiliated cruise brands will donate $5 million to Haiti relief efforts. Carnival's pledge, which will be given to UNICEF, the University of Miami's Project Medishare, American Red Cross, and Save the Children, is the largest publicly released American corporate donation yet.

• Through March 31, the Sheraton Atlanta will donate $10 per night for every guest who stays at the hotel using one of two Haiti Relief CARE packages, with proceeds being distributed by CARE.

El Al has delivered more than 80 tons of emergency supplies and 229 passengers, consisting of medical personnel, search-and-rescue teams and a K9 rescue squad.

• Through Jan. 31, all 54 Sage Hospitality properties are donating $10 per room night to the Red Cross for guests who book the Sage Relief Rate. In addition to the donations from room stays, Sage-owned Coco Key Water Resorts are donating 1% of all food and beverage purchases to the Red Cross through the end of January.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air Mileage Plan members can donate frequent flier miles through the airlines' Charity Miles program through Feb. 15. Up to 5 million miles donated will be matched one-for-one by the airlines. In addition, Alaska and Horizon have already donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross and 2 million frequent flier miles to Angel Flight West to aid Haitian relief efforts.

Just a Drop is asking for donations to help in the ongoing effort to supply clean water to Haiti. Donations can be made via Just a Drop's website,; by mail with checks payable to Just a Drop sent to the attention of Ana Sustelo -- Just a Drop Co-Ordinator Gateway House, 28 The Quadrant, Richmond, United Kingdom TW9 1DN; or via email transfer by contacting Nikki Davis at [email protected]. & Company, a destination marketing corporation in Galveston, Texas, has partnered with Soles 4 Souls, a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes for underprivileged people. The organizations are asking for donations of new or gently used shoes or flip-flops. Donations can be dropped off at's offices at 523 24th St., Galveston, TX 77550.

Norwegian Cruise Line's two-fold relief effort includes monetary donations to the Red Cross with a dollar-for-dollar company match and a supply drive. Guests and crew can make a donation to the Red Cross via their onboard accounts or by placing checks or cash into a designated drop box at reception offices fleetwide. NCL's Miami office also is collecting needed supplies and working with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to have the supplies delivered to Haiti.

• The Walt Disney Company will contribute $100,000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The donation will be provided to the Red Cross International Fund to support Haiti's relief efforts.

• Temporary drop-off locations have been set up at all City of Miami Fire Department and City of Miami government offices to collect donations of non-perishable food items, water, medical supplies and medications that do not have expiration dates.

Fort Lauderdale's public high schools, area offices and the main administration building are collection sites for food, supplies and other donations for Haiti. Items will be distributed to Food for the Poor, Hope for Haiti and World Vision.

Expedia, and Orbitz are asking customers to donate to the American Red Cross International Response Fund via their home pages.

• Every dollar of commission earned until Feb. 28 through, a North American hotel booking website, will be donated to relief groups and nonprofit organizations to aid in Haiti's recovery.

Mondial Assistance USA, a travel insurance and medical assistance provider, will match employee donations dollar-for-dollar to Haiti relief funds.

Couples Resorts is donating one-third of the money raised at its annual charity golf tournament, which was held Jan. 17 at its Couples Tower Isle and Couples Sans Souci resorts in Jamaica, and will match the amount, bringing the company's total Haiti relief donation to $9,054., an online directory of travel professionals, features a secure link to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief effort donations.

• HNA Group, parent of China's Hainan Airlines, donated about $75,000 each to the China Police Martyrs and Heroes Foundation and the China Red Cross Society to assist in relief and reconstruction in Haiti.

Hope for Haiti, a grassroots campaign in Mexico, is hosting two fundraising events Jan. 24 in Playa del Carmen and Aukmal, Mexico. Proceeds from the events will be sent to Doctors Without Borders to support their relief efforts in Haiti.

Windham Mountain in Windham, N.Y., is accepting donations at the resort's ticket windows on Jan. 23. The donations, matched up to $1,000, will be given to the American Red Cross.

Iberia will hold a drawing of 50 prizes worth two return air trips within Europe to customers who donate at least 50 euros to the Spanish Red Cross. In addition, the airline's Mano a Mano humanitarian organization is sending nearly 100 tons of aid supplies to Haiti and the carrier is offering special conditions and allowances to rescue workers bound for Haiti. Iberia employees also are able to donate to the Red Cross via the company's intranet site. 

Six Senses Resorts & Spas will match, dollar-for-dollar, all contributions to Safe Water for Rural Communities NOW! -- Haiti, a relief project initiated immediately after the earthquake by Water Charity. Six Senses will also coordinate a fundraising initiative among its guests and staff to generate further support. 

• The Florida Renaissance Festival, taking place in Deerfield Beach, Fla., Jan. 23 and 24, will accept food donations throughout the festival. Guests who bring in three or more non-perishable food items will receive a coupon for $3 off a one-day adult pass.

Diamonds International, with 10 retail jewelry stores in the Caribbean, will donate $50,000 to UNICEF. Customers visiting the retail locations also can donate to the relief fund.

Silversea Cruises has made a donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of the Silver Spirit's inaugural voyage guests.

Rosen Hotels & Resorts announced a plan to raise at least $1 million to assist Haiti earthquake victims. The plan includes a $250,000 donation by Harris Rosen, president and COO of Rosen Hotels; in addition, the company is collecting supplies at its Rosen Centre hotel in Orlando and is accepting monetary donations, to be mailed to The Harris Rosen Foundation, memo: Haiti Relief, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. The company said that approximately 30% of its employees are from Haiti or are of Haitian descent. 

Meeting Professionals International has made a $5,000 donation through its MPI Foundation to the International Red Cross.

• The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society hosted Cocktails for a Cause Jan. 23 with proceeds from two featured drinks supporting the Haiti relief efforts.

Virgin Vacations teamed up with Virgin Unite to donate $5 dollars per booking through through February to help fund Haiti relief efforts. Donations will be distributed through Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group.

• Eight Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries and the Caribbean Development Bank have contributed $4 million toward Haiti relief efforts, with Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana each pledging $1 million. Contributions came from Grenada, Suriname, St. Lucia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

• The three Bay Gardens Resorts in St. Lucia established a Haiti Relief Fund with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. Guests' donations will be matched by the resort company.

TravelStore, ranked No. 38 on Travel Weekly's 2009 Power List, collected $2,420 in the office and has made a donation for Haiti Relief to Operation USA.

• Canada's Travel Masters was able to send a representative of Liberty World Ministries, to Haiti for nine days with medical supplies purchased in part by Travel Masters' agents and staff.

Boeing has committed more than $1.8 million to support relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. To date, Boeing employee and retiree donations have totaled more than $910,000; donations up to $1 million are being matched by the company through Feb. 12.

Doubletree Hotels donated $50,000 on behalf of its Teaching Kids to CARE community outreach program to the Friends of the World Food Program, which will help support the United Nations World Food Program's School Meals initiative in Haiti. 

Montserrat will host a concert Jan. 30 at its cultural center to raise relief funds for Haiti. The destination has already raised $19,000 in disaster aid through a radio telethon.

Altour has donated more than $22,000 to Save the Children for relief efforts in Haiti. The funds are comprised of $11,136 donated by employees and matched by Altour's president and founder, Alexandre Chemla, for a total of $22,272.

• The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, has teamed up with American Airlines and American Eagle to deliver supplies to Haiti. The foundation is underwriting the cost of 10 humanitarian relief flights from San Juan to Haiti starting Feb. 2. The flights will be flown on American Eagle ATR-72 aircraft, each with a capacity to transport 10,000 pounds per mission. The relief items will include water, medical ad emergency supplies, food, shoes, medical personnel and relief workers.

Sol Melia properties in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, are donating $4 per room, per night, from their group and meetings sales to either the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund or to a local charity of the group’s choice. Qualifying groups must book a minimum of 15 rooms by Aug. 31 with travel valid through Dec. 31, 2011. The properties are the Paradisus Palma Real, the Paradisus Punta Cana and the Melia Caribe Tropical. Worldwide, Sol Melia offers its guests the option of donating at its hotels to the brand’s Solidarity Fund, with funds earmarked for Unicef. The company also is donating 1 Euro (about $1.40) per booking for reservations made through its website by Feb. 15.

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has partnered with the American Red Cross to launch the multi-phase Miami Tourism Cares program to provide immediate and long-term aid to Haiti. The initiative includes a request for cash donations via a secure site; the GMCVB will match all employee donations dollar-for-dollar. And in cooperation with the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association, hotel guests during the month of February will be asked for donations via the Add-On, Add-Up program; hotels also can donate rooms to rescue workers, evacuated people and those receiving medical care in Miami through the Be a Knight, Give a Night program.

National Airlines donated a DC8 freighter aircraft to deliver 60,000 pounds of humanitarian aid collected by school children from the American Heritage School in Del Ray Beach, Fla.

• Six Hyatt-branded hotels in Florida have organized various charitable efforts and have raised nearly $6,000 to benefit Haiti, in addition to collecting essential supplies to donate to earthquake relief efforts. Continuing efforts include a fundraising walk Feb. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, with a goal of raising $10,000; and $3 sponsorships of cases of bottled water to send to Haiti at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure in Weston, Fla., where 28% of the hotel staff is of Haitian decent.

The Iberostar Foundation launched a global fundraising initiative called In Sympathy With Haiti-Together We Can Multiply Resources to provide continued support to Haiti. Drop boxes have been placed in hotel lobbies, where guests can make contributions to show their support. All funds raised will be donated to the projects that Unicef and Caritas are developing for reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Big Five Tours & Expeditions' nonprofit arm, the Spirit of Big Five Foundation, and The Bodhi Tree Foundation, the nonprofit division of JG Blackbook, are supporting the Edeyo Foundation to rebuild Haiti from the ground up, including the destroyed school Ecole du Bel-Air, which once supported 300 boys and girls from the poorest slums of Port-au-Prince. 

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI