1 dollar drive by BTB to assist Caribbean islands affected by hurricanes Print E-mail
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Friday, 06 October 2017 00:00

In an effort to assist our fellow Caribbean countries that were devastated in September by hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Belize Tourism Board in collaboration with tourism industry stakeholders will launch a “Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund” campaign during the entire month of October. According to Noriko Gamero, Director, Cruise Tourism and Destination Planning, BTB, this is in unison to the thought “One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean” which the Caribbean Tourism Organization follows.

For every tourist arrival for the month of October, the BTB will donate $1 toward the cause while stakeholders have agreed to donate $1 for every guest. Other stakeholders in the Caribbean have also gotten on board and some have pledged to donate as much as $50 for each booking. This will create a multiplier effect which is expected to at least double the funds that will be raised by BTB alone. There is an estimated arrival of 100,000 cruise and overnight tourists and as a result, the BTB projects that at the end of October, the campaign will have raised $200,000 or more. BTB has assured full transparency as to how the monies will be allocated.

Many of the countries that were affected depend on tourism as their main source of income and due to the hurricanes, their economies have been greatly negatively affected. As a result, the BTB appealed to the stakeholders and all other interested parties to participate in the initiative. The funds will be donated to the CTO’s existing Go fund me Hurricane Relief fund. Hugh Riley, Secretary General and CEO, CTO, stated “It’s through this Fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states. Assessments are being conducted of needs through the Ministries of Tourism and the monies collected will be disbursed directly to the people in need in form of food, medication, water, or material for rebuilding.”

The initiative was developed in approximately two weeks after logistics were completed and since then, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), water taxis and tour operators, hoteliers, and local airlines amongst many others have all pledged their full support.

John Burgos, Executive Director, BTIA, believes that it is only fitting that as a CTO and CARICOM member that we stand in solidarity with those affected. Members of the BTIA will be encouraged to donate more than requested by the BTB. Tourism makes upward of  48% of Belize’s economy and according to Ted Tejada, President, BHA, we have to put ourselves in their shoes and help as much as we can, regardless of how little it might be.

A bank account has been set up at the Heritage Bank to facilitate the process. The account’s name is Belize Tourism Board Hurricane Relief at account number 9131283.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 October 2017 15:37