Destination Directory

Tourism Cares Nepal Recovery Fund

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the April 25, 2015, earthquake that has wrought such devastation in Nepal. There have been terrible losses and suffering, first in human lives, and also to its cultural heritage and the local tourism community.

Tourism Cares urges the global travel and tourism community to come together, to 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.

With tourism accounting for 500,000 jobs and contributing 3.9% to Nepal's GDP (more than 8% if related, indirect activities are included), we have a chance to make a major impact by working together and mobilizing our unique and powerful industry resources.

What will Tourism Cares do?

Working with local partners and tourism interests, we will bring the assets of the tourism industry to bear on recovery. 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. We 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.

How will we do it, and why Tourism Cares?

The Tourism Cares community is well-positioned to make a substantial and unique difference in Nepal's tourism recovery phase. Tourism Cares has responded to a number of disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and its CEO, Mike Rea, founded the grantmaker Give2Asia and directed its multimillion dollar effort after the SE Asia Tsunami, with a focus on Sri Lanka and Aceh.

A partial listing of partners leading the effort include:

  • Solimar International, a tourism development and marketing firm that specializes in 
innovative and sustainable tourism. Within its global portfolio of projects, Solimar 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. Chris Seek, president and CEO of Solimar, sits on the Tourism Cares board of directors.
  • Media partners such as Travel Weekly, TravAlliance Media, Travel Market Report, Serendipity Media, and others, which can support the industry's advocacy and communications for recovery.
  • Association partners in our community, including USTOA, NTA, ASTA, and others.

All funds contributed will be restricted for Nepal recovery, supporting direct program costs (e.g., financial grants, advocacy, program management, et cetera); Tourism Cares is waiving its indirect costs for this recovery fund.

To make your contribution
:

Donate online through www.TourismCares.org/nepalrecovery.

Send a check, made out to Tourism Cares, to 275 Turnpike St., Suite 307, Canton, MA 02021.

For questions, please contact Mike Rea, CEO, at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 415.377.8043.

For a list of reputable relief organizations well suited to the tremendous need for immediate relief, visit Charity Navigator. Tourism Cares asks that you please take its survey to inform the industry's response.

 


Tags

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

  • Striving for Excellence

    Striving for Excellence

    Tim Wilson, nominated as one of the 2017 Top 10 Next Gens by Groups Today readers for making a difference in the industry, began working in the travel and tour industry during college—and has never looked back. Today, he serves as the Director of Business Development for United Bus Technology, Inc.

    Read More
  • 7 Tips to Prevent Losing Your Luggage

    7 Tips to Prevent Losing Your Luggage

    Few feelings are worse than the dread that seeps in while watching the luggage carousel go 'round and 'round as the crowd slowly dissipates—and you're still waiting for your luggage to show up. When it comes to making sure checked bags arrive safely at your destination, you are at the mercy of the airlines. Here are a few tips to give you better odds.

    Read More
  • What Not to Wear: TSA Edition

    What Not to Wear: TSA Edition

    When it comes to passing security, clothing can slow you down. Some accessories sound alarms; others merely look suspicious. To ensure smooth travels through Transportation Security Administration airport screening lanes, consider nixing these from your travel outfit.

    Read More
  • 5 Stunning U.S. Stargazing Sites

    5 Stunning U.S. Stargazing Sites

    Do your groups hope to map constellations on their tour? Consider these five locations, with skies so dark, the stars can't help but light up the night.

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

What's New

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100
  • 101
  • 102
  • 103
  • 104
  • 105
  • 106
  • 107
  • 108
  • 109
  • 110
  • 111
  • 112
  • 113
  • 114
  • 115
  • 116
  • 117
  • 118
  • 119
  • 120
  • 121
  • 122
  • 123
  • 124
  • 125
  • 126
  • 127
  • 128
  • 129
  • 130

Spotlight Collection

  • Mirvish ProductionsMirvish ProductionsMirvish Productions, the largest Canadian theatrical production company, owns and operates four major theatres in Toronto, including Royal Alexandra, the Princess of Wales, the Ed Mirvish, and the Panasonic. Formed in 1986, Mirvish Productions has produce ...
  • Lake Erie Shores & IslandsLake Erie Shores & IslandsRethink your next group adventure at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands where you and your group will experience exceptional hospitality surrounded by miles of beautiful shoreline, offering the kinds of activities one can only find at the water’s edge! ...
  • Mohegan Sun PoconoMohegan Sun PoconoAt Mohegan Sun Pocono, work and play exist under one roof.  The 20,000 square-foot Convention Center hosts meetings ranging from small intimate groups to larger ones of 1,500, as well as banquets for up to 800. It also offers multiple flexible and st ...
  • Holland Area CVBHolland Area CVBWelkom to Holland, Michigan! Located in Southwest Michigan, just three hours from Chicago and Detroit, Holland is a favorite Michigan vacation destination. Famous for its warm sandy beaches, historic downtown and unique Dutch attractions, Holland “Welkom ...
  • Show more...

Featured Content

More Than Purchasing Power

Souvenirs should look cool, reflect the culture of the destination and serve a greater purpose than that of a paperweight. It also helps when they don't cost too much. Some items, however, cost more than what's coming out of your wallet. Some souvenirs are unethical—even illegal—and can be costly to a destination's people, animals and environment.

Read more ...

7 Tips to Prevent Losing Your Luggage

Few feelings are worse than the dread that seeps in while watching the luggage carousel go 'round and 'round as the crowd slowly dissipates—and you're still waiting for your luggage to show up. When it comes to making sure checked bags arrive safely at your destination, you are at the mercy of the airlines. Here are a few tips to give you better odds.

Read more ...

Hold on a Second … Who's Allergic to Peanuts?

Allergies are the worst. Especially food allergies: The repercussions are far worse than the sniffles, and they make eating while traveling risky business. Naturally, most adults with food allergies know how to take care of themselves while eating away from home. Still, foods hide as ingredients in dishes, or they can unknowingly become contaminated—and it's scary when someone takes a bite of something and suddenly can't breathe. At that point, they may not be able to help themselves.

Read more ...

Recent Blogs

Giving Back to the Comeback City

"The only thing we ask is you love our city as much as we do," said Aaron Foley, appointed Neighborhood Storyteller for the city of Detroit and author of the book How to Live in Detroit without Being a Jackass.

To love Detroit (pronounced Duh-troyt, not Dee-troyt) is a gray area. Detroiters love their city—and those who aren't natives, but have been living there for more than a few years, might say they do. "New Detroit" residents love the city with the passion of a teenage crush. Outside the city, some love to make jokes about the Lions and, given the season, talk about how the "Tigers need to get it together." Other outsiders love to talk about Detroit as if they're an expert—and they might be, on how the media presents the city.

I was born and raised in West Michigan, about a three-hour drive across the state from Detroit, and grew up with the understanding that the city was part of my core as a Michigander. But I'm not going to pretend to know anything beyond stereotypes and icons, such as rampant crime, vacant houses caving in, the abandoned train station, the abandoned old Ford plant and ... Motown and Coney dogs, of course.

So, I read (most of) Foley's book in preparation for writing this essay.

And I will try to write about Detroit without being a jackass.

According to Foley, Detroit was once a city of 2 million people. Today, it's broke and harbors somewhere around 700,000 residents. (Only an estimated 60 to 80 percent of the city's 139 square miles is occupied.) Detroit was once the mecca of the now-global automotive industry and home of M-1, or Woodward Avenue, the first paved road in the United States. When the auto industry began decentralizing from Detroit between 1945 and 1957, a substantial portion of the population left with the companies. Even Motown moved, to Los Angeles in the 1970s.

Long story short: Foley pens three main factors for the city's bankruptcy: "White flight, ineffective policies put in place long before any of us were born, and too heavy of a dependence on the automotive industry."

Yet in recent years, it seems the steering wheel may be finally turning around. Motor City and Motown has a new nickname: America's Great Comeback City.

Here's where the tourism industry comes in.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recognizes tourism as a critical force in sustainable development and livability. Tourism drives economic growth, encourages inclusivity and promotes environmental sustainability.

That's not all.

I'm going to lose most of my street cred here: I was only introduced to the travel industry on a professional level about a year ago. But in that short time, I've realized that if any group of people is equipped to love a city as much as its citizens do, it's the travel professionals.

I'd wager that's why 200 volunteers from 22 states and 80 companies joined Tourism Cares—the philanthropic community of the tourism industry—in Detroit on May 12, 2017, for the signature event in the Tourism Cares for Our Cities series.

"Detroit was on the top of our wish list from the very beginning," said Jessica Ahern, Director of Events, Tourism Cares. "Detroit is a city with so much to offer—and it's evolving in rich, substantive ways."

Larry Alexander, president and CEO, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, reports there's been $20 billion of reinvestment in downtown Detroit in the past few years. The city is renowned for its art and cultural institutions, rich architecture and unique experiences. Thanks to its diverse culinary scene, the city has soared in the tourism industry as a top food destination with neighborhoods—including Corktown, Hamtramck, Greektown and Mexicantown—offering global bites. Detroit's Eastern Market is the largest outdoor farmers market in the nation, packed with farmers, retailers, wholesalers and vendors.

"The growth in the downtown area is immense. And yet, there are still improvements to be made in surrounding areas where we knew we could help make an impact," Ahern said. "I think with all the growth, there's an opportunity to not only focus on the neighborhoods that make Detroit great, but also on the people who are helping move the city forward."

Tourism Cares donated more than $30,000 in volunteer labor, saving their work partners many months of work and time. Volunteers worked on scores of projects, at sites across the city: Some got a crash course in the art of graffiti while transforming one of the Detroit Bus Company's iconic buses; some prepped the grounds and beds at Belle Isle's Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory for the upcoming planting season; I spent the day with the team at Georgia Street Community Collective Garden (GSCC), where we worked on various projects including building a chicken coop, clearing debris and hanging out with goats.

While volunteering to pull weeds and paint fences, we practiced what I've come to realize travel does best: inspiring a greater depth of knowledge and appreciation for a place through shared experiences and stories.

"We wanted to not only allow our industry to be tourists to see the sties, but to build a deeper connection to the people who live there that never stop working to better their communities. We learned so much from them," Ahern said. "Healthy and happy communities lead to amazing tourism experiences, and providing an opportunity for the travel and tourism industry to be a part of that was one of our goals."

For better or worse, policies will change and the economy will shift. Yet the heart driving Detroit forward beats with individuals—individuals like Mike Covington, founder of GSCC, who began picking up trash on abandoned lots near his grandmother's house and felt moved to grow a community garden. Covington proves that no matter how politics and economics shake out, people will plant seeds, gardens will grow, communities will develop, and the tourism industry will continue to care about places that offer residents and visitors so much.

Just remember this: Speramus meliora, resurget cineribus.

It's Latin for: "We hope for better things, it will rise from the ashes."

And it's Detroit's motto.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today magazine. 

Baby Boomer Travel Trends

For baby boomers, travel is, well, booming. According to the AARP 2017 Travel Trends Report, 99 percent of boomers plan to take at least one leisure trip this year, with an average of five or more trips. But why do they want to travel, and where do they want to go? The report uncovered several trends.

This Wouldn't Look Better as a Lake

"Wouldn't this look better as a lake?"

I was staring out into Yosemite Valley. Half Dome and El Capitan loomed in the distance—two natural landmarks accomplishing what I thought impossible: Make the giant sequoias gathered below look small.

"What?" I turned to the man standing next to me.

"A joke," he said. "Someone once thought this valley would make a great lake."