15 May 2019
Three days, 150 travel professionals, one island
RightRez leaders Maria von Foerster and Shannon Taylor joined more than 150 travel professionals in Puerto Rico for Tourism Cares volunteer event on May 8-10, 2019. The event focused on social impact, preservation, and sustainability to help support rebuilding the local economy through tourism. During the three days, Maria and Shannon, alongside volunteers, participated in educational sessions, networking, and hands-on rebuilding efforts on local farms.
“The biggest takeaway from Puerto Rico is that while the hurricane did have an impact, the island knows how to respond,” said Maria. “They did just that and are more than ready for tourism to return. Puerto Rico is an island rich with culture and hospitality just waiting for travelers to enjoy. RightRez was proud to be part of this event, and Tourism Cares as an organization!”
Supporting sustainable tourism on the island
According to Tourism Cares, tourism has been a significant economic contributor to Puerto Rico, when recovering from natural disasters. But, many micro, small, and social enterprises that could benefit significantly from tourism have limited means to access the formal tourism market.
Currently, only 10 percent of the island’s economy participates in the tourism sector. An increase would create a more sustainable income and help support the island’s economy.
RightRez and Tourism Cares
This is the third year RightRez has joined many great organizations in the travel industry in supporting Tourism Cares, a philanthropic community that advances the travel industry’s social impact. In 2018, months after Hurricane Irma, RightRez worked alongside Tourism Cares and local organizations on cleanup initiatives in the Florida Keys. In 2017, RightRez team members attended the Tourism Cares event in Providence, which focused on urban gardening preparation, mural painting, and fencing repair.
Tourism Cares, A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, focuses on volunteer opportunities and charitable giving and leverages the travel industry’s capability to give back. The organization unites hundreds of leaders in the travel and tourism industry around the globe annually in the commitment to making a positive impact through travel. Tourism Cares was founded in 2003, with representation from many of the industry’s leading companies and associations.
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