Belize contributes to 'Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund'

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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BELIZE CITY, Belize (CMC) — The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has collaborated with tourism industry stakeholders in raising US$59,934 as part of the 'Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund' campaign to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which severely devastated many Caribbean countries in September last year.

The BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Karen Pike, presented the check to Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), during a recent virtual press conference hosted by CTO in Barbados.

“When we got the news on the Caribbean Relief Fund Campaign, we embraced it immediately because it was not only the right thing to do but also because it brought all of us in the Caribbean once again – even closer together in a unified effort to assist those in need,” Pike said.

“As part of the Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign, the BTB reached out to the entire country of Belize, through the media, press releases, the BTB’s website and its news distribution network,” she added.

As part of its Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign, Pike said each participating tourism stakeholder donated a US$1 for every guest.

She said the BTB then contributed by donating US$1 for every tourist arrival for the month of October, thereby creating a multiplier effect.

Pike said the BTB initiative was supported by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), Tropic Air, the Belize Airport Concession Company (BACC), Tour Operators, water taxis, and hoteliers, among others.

During the first week of September, Category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled several islands in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean, leaving a long trail of devastation, Pike noted.

She said 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 and throwing many of these countries in a severe state of despair, Pike said.

She said the Caribbean depends on tourism as its chief means of survival, adding that “the devastation by both hurricanes has stalled the economies of countries affected, which may take several months, or perhaps years, to recover.”

Pike said the BTB and the Belize tourism stakeholders are “extremely pleased that they were able to make a contribution towards the Caribbean Relief Fund and take this opportunity to offer their heartfelt thanks to all Belizean stakeholders and organizations that donated generously in order to ease the road to recovery for our Caribbean sister countries.”

According to the CTO, US$135,000.00 was raised by the Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund campaign.




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