Destination Disaster Recovery Funds

The 2017 hurricane season was unlike any other. First came Hurricane Harvey, followed a little more than two weeks later by Hurricane Irma. The storms swept through parts of the Caribbean and multiple states and caused an estimated $175 billion in damages. Maria crippled Puerto Rico and severely damaged six other Caribbean destinations.

In the wake of those unprecedented storms, Tourism Cares rallied all sectors of the travel and tourism industry to help through its Destination Disaster Recovery Fund (DDRF). With partners, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Texas Travel Industry Assocation, Tourism Cares played a critical role in mobilizing more than 350 companies and individuals to contribute close to $380,000 for Florida, the Caribbean and Texas—places where tourism is vital to the livelihoods of local communities.

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Globus, a respected international tour operator, brings thousands of visitors to outstanding natural and historic parks and landscapes throughout the world. Since 2004 Globus has supported grants in North America, South America and Asia with focus on restoration and preservation, community based tourism, and child safety awareness.

With more than $308,000 contributed to date, Globus continues to utilize both customer and travel agent communication to spread the word about Tourism Cares’ work. 

Bob Whitley Memorial Fund

Robert (Bob) Whitley had a distinguished career in the tourism field spanning more than 40 years, including both private sector and government positions, notably serving as the longtime President of the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA).

Bob was instrumental in USTOA’s creation of the Travelers Conservation Foundation (TCF) in 1999 to preserve the travel experience for future generations. Five years later, he also applauded the expansion of TCF, working with other industry associations to create Tourism Cares, and support the education of the travel industry’s future workforce and expand its outreach through volunteerism and giving back by people who make their living in the travel and tourism industry.

Tourism Cares was honored when Bob’s family suggested that those who want to remember him make a donation to Tourism Cares, which led to the creation of the Bob Whitley Memorial Fund.

Thanks to Bob’s friends in USTOA and beyond, the memorial fund has raised nearly $65,000. The fund continues to grow thanks to the ongoing support of Travel Weekly’s annual Golf Shootout.

The Bob Whitley Memorial Fund continues to support programs Bob cared about. On behalf of the Whitley family, USTOA, and Tourism Cares, thank you to all who gave and continue to give in memory of Bob.