Tourism Cares Announces Nepal Recovery Fund Efforts
The rescue and recovery process has just begun in Nepal after Saturday’s devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake. More than 3,700 have been reported dead and another 6,500 injured. The force of the quake has turned centuries-old cultural landmarks to rubble and crippled the local tourism community.
Already, the people of Nepal have shown great resolve and shown they will rebuild and thrive again. The worldwide tourism community is reacting in kind, and Tourism Cares is leading the charge. The organization announced a large-scale relief and recovery effort today and is calling on every corner of the travel industry to assist in the cause.
travAlliancemedia, the parent company of TravelPulse, is partnering with Tourism Cares to build a large-scale sustained effort across the travel industry to aid in the recovery of the region.
Tourism Cares CEO Mike Rea said he is proud to see how quickly those in the industry have mobilized efforts to help lessen the short-term devastation of this natural disaster. But he stressed that the needs of the region will stretch far into the future.
"People should certainly fund immediate relief efforts, but we are urging the industry to earmark some of its giving for Nepal’s tourism industry and its long-term recovery," Rea said. “Now is the time for the global travel and tourism community to come together. We must leverage our contributions with a focus on recovery, so that when the immediate needs of the relief phase have passed, we will be ready to support the much longer, equally vital recovery phase that is essential to the long term health and prosperity of Nepal.”
Tourism accounts for 500,000 jobs in the region and contributes more than 8 percent to Nepal’s gross domestic product.
It’s just one reason Rea says Tourism Cares is mobilizing the industry, much as it has in the past with efforts around Hurriane Katrina and the southeast Asia tsunami.
Working with local partners and tourism interests, Rea said Tourism Cares will “bring the assets of the tourism industry to bear on recovery.” according to Rea. These may include:
- Financial investments to support the local tourism industry, as well as community-based tourism projects and social enterprises, so that Nepal tourism can recover and even become stronger where possible. Tourism Cares will engage local tourism leaders and support their priorities with dedicated funding.
These may include facilitating industry dialogue and providing expertise to assist in prioritizing resources for recovery, reexamining how tourism products are packaged and marketed, targeting restoration and physical investments that may otherwise fall through the cracks, and retraining industry professionals; and
- Global tourism advocacy and communications for Nepal, working with media and association partners to systematically tell the emerging Nepal story of recovery to travel agents, tour operators, the general public, and others vital for driving tourism to Nepal.
Partners for the project include travel associations such as USTOA, ASTA and the NTA, as well as corporate partners like tourism development and marketing firm Solimar International, which is currently working in Nepal on tourism and poverty reduction, and maintains strong relationships with the government of Nepal and local tourism associations and companies.
So, how can you make a difference today? Make your contribution online at www.tourismcares.org/nepalrecovery or donate with a check made out to Tourism Cares sent to 275 Turnpike St., Suite 307, Canton, MA 02021. All donations will go directly to the recovery effort.
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