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 [email protected] 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.