The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with tourism industry stakeholders, will launch a Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign during the entire month of October to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which severely devastated many of our Caribbean sister countries earlier in September.
The Belize Tourism Board will donate a $1 for every tourist arrival for the month of October and the initiative is that each stakeholder donates a $1 for every guest; therefore, creating a multiplier effect. The BTB initiative is being supported by participating agencies and tourism stakeholders such as the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), Tour Operators, water taxis, hoteliers and local airlines amongst many others.
During the first week of September, category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled a number of Caribbean countries in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean leaving a long trail of devastation. Many residents of these countries were left homeless, without food, power, water and basic essentials. Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed the same path further exacerbating the level of destruction throwing many of these countries in a severe state of desperation and despair. Many of these countries depend on tourism as their chief means of survival and the devastation by both hurricanes has stalled their economies, which may take several months or perhaps years to recover.
The BTB, therefore, hereby appeals to all stakeholders to donate $1 for every passenger/ guest engaged for the month of October towards the Caribbean Relief Fund in order to ease the road to recovery for our Caribbean sister countries.
The funds will be donated to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in addition to their existing Go fund me Hurricane Relief fund for the Caribbean. Hugh Riley, Secretary General & CEO of CTO, stated "It's through this Fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states. Assessments are being conducted of needs through the Ministries of Tourism and the monies collected will be disbursed directly to the people in need in form of food, medication, water, or material for rebuilding. The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts of these countries."
Further information on the A Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign and transparency for disbursements of funds can be found http://belizetourismboard.org/caribbean-hurricane-relief/