Auto Europe has set up a relief fund to assist travel agents affected by the wildfires that ravaged southern California last week. The car rental firm has pledged $5 per reservation booked by any agent through December 31 to the fund. In addition, Imad Khalidi, CEO of Auto Europe, will personally match each pledge. "We as an industry need to unite in this time of crisis and help our fellow partners," says Khalidi. "Our hopes are also that other suppliers will also rally and show their support with similar pledges or contributions." Agents in need of urgent support can contact Auto Europe at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 287-room Rancho Bernardo Inn [http://www.ranchobernardoinn.com], in an outlying area of San Diego, escaped serious fire damage. It was evacuated October 22 but reopened a couple of days later, with guests back on the golf course by the end of the week. The resort has offered displaced residents a place to stay, for a special rate of $139 (including breakfast), as long as occupancy allows.
The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau assured agents and travelers that major attractions including the zoo and SeaWorld have reopened and that beaches, restaurants, shopping centers and art venues are once again welcoming visitors. The San Diego convention center and area hotels report that meeting groups and attendees are arriving as planned. (MR)