Travel Industry Lends Helping Hand After Harvey

Flooding in the Houston area caused by Hurricane Harvey // Photo by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As relief efforts continue in southeast Texas, companies are pitching in to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. And although airports are resuming service the area is still in need of assistance. 

The U.S. travel and tourism industry has launched the Hurricane Harvey Tourism Recovery Fund which is dedicated to connecting the travel industry and its resources in support of the aftermath of Harvey. 

The Fund will go towards restoring damaged tourist attractions and cultural tourism nonprofits, including historical monuments, beaches and open spaces, visitor centers, and more. Money will also go to supporting nonprofits to ensure the social capital of the region can rebuild. The organization will also make other donations as needed including training on volunteer management, disaster mitigation and planning, and marketing and communications support.

The Texas Travel Industry Association will work with places affected to evaluate needs and respond, along with working with members and partners in Texas. Nonprofit organization Tourism Cares will administer the Fund.

“The greatest benefit will be felt in destinations like Galveston Island, Beaumont, Port Aransas, Rockport/Fulton and more said David Teel, president and CEO of the Texas Travel Industry Association in a press release.  “They are dependent on tourism and were also the hardest hit. They’ll need the most help to bounce back.”

Donations may be made online on the website, by check (payable to Hurricane Harvey Tourism Recovery Fund and sent to Tourism Cares, 20 Vernon St., Norwood, MA 02062) or by donating securities.  

Car rental service Enterprise has already transported more than 4,000 rental vehicles to Southeast Texas and plans to transport a total of 17,000 before the end of September to assist in cleanup and recovery. 

Since the storm hit, the company has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), General Services Administration (GSA), State of Texas, Texas Army National Guard and others to help determine the most urgent needs in the state. 

In addition, Enterprise’s philanthropic branch has donated one million dollars to the American Red Cross to provide shelter, food, water and supplies for residents in the affected areas.

The company has also waived one-way rental fees for customers who are returning vehicles to Houston if they were rented before of Aug. 25, 2017, from Houston or from any other U.S city.

Further continuing the efforts is low cost carrier Frontier Airlines. Yesterday, the company donated one dollar to the American Red Cross for every ticket that was booked.

Additionally, in its commitment helping everyone affected, all flights to or from Houston in September or October will be capped at $99 one way. 

The airline also sent relief supplies in the first flight back to the area last week. For team members, friends, and family affected, care boxes were sent to help in recovery.

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