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VI taps into ‘Tourism Recovery Fund’

'Seeds of Love' Arvan Hodge presents seedlings to VI legend, Philicianno ‘Foxy’ Callwood, in Jost Van Dyke, Photo: Seeds of Love
The group which has already has collected more than $275,000 in charitable donations assisted the VI’s ‘Seeds of Love’ with the purchase of 1,000 saplings and seedlings for the local community and travelers, to replant the islands' indigenous trees and vegetation—much of which was wiped out in the storms. Photo: Seeds of Love
The group which has already has collected more than $275,000 in charitable donations assisted the VI’s ‘Seeds of Love’ with the purchase of 1,000 saplings and seedlings for the local community and travelers, to replant the islands' indigenous trees and vegetation—much of which was wiped out in the storms. Photo: Seeds of Love
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The Virgin Islands (VI) has already begun to benefit from the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund, established by the non-profit organization, Tourism Cares and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), to build long-term recovery and enhance the ability of hurricane impacted destinations to rebound as quickly as possible.

The group which has collected more than $275,000 in charitable donations, assisted the VI’s ‘Seeds of Love’ with the purchase  of 1,000 saplings and seedlings for the local community and travelers, to replant the islands' indigenous trees and vegetation—much of  which was wiped out in the storms.

Fundraising Venture

The information was disclosed in a in a joint statement today, August, 3, 2018, by CHTA President Frank Comito and Paula Vlamings, CEO of Tourism Cares, who outlined the successes of the collaborative fundraising venture thus far.

The duo used the occasion to report that through the initiative, assistance has gone to Caribbean nations and territories for training and education, restoring destination capacity, the physical restoration of tourism-related infrastructure, social enterprise development, job creation, hotel training, voluntourism, marketing and public relations support, and the environment.

"With another hurricane season in full swing, we are so grateful for the way all sectors of the travel industry came together to invest in the vulnerable people and places we depend on," the statement read.

Tourism Dollars

"Because of the generosity of our donors, tourism infrastructure is being repaired, the workforce will receive new training and opportunities, and more communities will benefit from tourism dollars…Together, we're empowering destinations to build resilience," the joint statement said.

 "As an industry, we have the powerful opportunity to use our business to benefit the local communities and fragile ecosystems that are the pillars of our businesses."

It was noted that after the relief agencies met immediate needs and moved on—post Irma and Maria in 2017—the recovery phase began.

This process is typically long, difficult and underfunded.

Through Tourism Cares and CHTA, the industry has united to help destinations "build back better" by investing in recovery.

Grants Approved

Some 15 grants have since been approved under the initiative and more than half of the total funds raised have been passed on.

This first phase has funded the strengthening of local hotel and tourism associations in the VI, Anguilla, Dominica, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).

It also helped participants attend 2018 Caribbean Travel Marketplace, allowing them to meet with travel partners and the travel trade media, to brief them on recovery efforts and generate business in the aftermath of the hurricanes.

 

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