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Tourism Cares Reveals Volunteer Destinations for 2018

Tourism Cares has named South Florida and New Orleans as the hosts of its upcoming volunteer program.

The travel industry’s philanthropic community has tapped the two destinations for its 2018 “Tourism Cares for Resilient Destinations” program in wake of devastating hurricanes.

Tourism Cares for South Florida will take place May 10-11, 2018 while the two-day program will be underway in New Orleans September 20-21, 2018. The theme in South Florida will be “open for business” while volunteers in the Big Easy will join forces to remember the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and celebrate the city’s Tricentennial.

“Destinations can be vulnerable to natural disaster, but tourism can also lead their recovery,” said Mike Rea, CEO of Tourism Cares, in a statement. “In 2018, we’ll be giving back to a destination open for business only months after a disaster and another that is full of lessons and opportunities 13 years later.”

Volunteers will team up with local partners in South Florida and New Orleans to tackle a slew of issues, including the restoration and rehab of key tourism infrastructure. Both events will also present numerous networking opportunities.

“NPS sites in the area absorbed significant damage during September’s Hurricane Irma, and the ecological impacts will be felt for some time to come. While NPS staff and volunteers are making progress on cleanup and recovery, with facilities and trails reopening to the public as they can, there will be plenty of work to do in the months to come,” said National Park Service (NPS) tourism program manager, Donald Leadbetter in a statement. “Volunteers are playing a crucial role in accomplishing the work, and we’re grateful for the helping hands of the tourism industry.”

Meanwhile, Tourism Cares will return to New Orleans for the third time next year.

“We have seen first-hand how the selfless efforts of a focused group of volunteers can lift an entire city,” said New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau president and CEO, Stephen Perry in a statement. “Seeing it happen here has inspired us to help others in their time of need. I’d like to thank Tourism Cares for returning to New Orleans as we prepare to celebrate our Tricentennial next year. We look forward to their visit and joining our industry partners.”

Collette, Delta Air Lines and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority are among the sponsors for the volunteer program.

Earlier this year, Tourism Cares partnered with the Texas Travel Industry Association to develop the Hurricane Harvey Tourism Recovery Fund in an effort to assist in the destination’s rebuild.

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