Gorgeous beaches, crystal waters and fascinating cultures continuously draw travelers from around the world to the Caribbean, but this fall’s hurricanes have had a devastating impact on many places in the region – and a lingering effect on its integral tourism industry.
To help combat the ongoing issues and provide relief to those in need, the Central American country of Belize wants to help their neighbors by donating funds to hurricane relief for every traveler that heads to the nation on the Caribbean Sea.
The Belize Tourism Board’s “Dollar for Caribbean Relief Fund” campaign launched last month to help victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Now, it has been extended for the month of November in an effort to raise more funds. The tourism board will donate $1 for every tourist arrival, and has encouraged other stakeholders like the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), tour operators, water taxis, hoteliers and local airlines to also donate for each guest.
Belize is a close neighbor to places like Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which were hard hit by the hurricanes that left a trail of devastation and many people without homes, food, water and other essentials. Many of those countries are extremely reliant on tourism, so the hurricanes have continued to hurt the local economies and it may take months or years for some to recover, according to the tourism board.
The funds will go to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, with the CEO and secretary general Hugh Riley explaining a statement that it is through the fund that they channel money to impacted members states to be“disbursed directly to the people in need in the form of food, medication, water, or material for rebuilding”.