The travel industry has reached out wholeheartedly to support
the victims of hurricane Katrina. Many associations are reaching
out to their members in the hurricane-ravaged region, helping them
get back on their feet with donations, job sites and Web resources.
Most importantly, associations want to hear from their members
affected by the hurricane.
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is asking that all
members in the affected area call to update the organization on
their status and the status of their agency. Members can call
800-ASK-ASTA or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASTA will help organizations find resources to aid them in the
recovery process. Several volunteers are willing to help members in
need. For more information go to
National Tour Association (NTA) is asking for similar updates
from its members. Businesses affected by the hurricane are advised
to contact NTA with their new information. The information will be
posted to NTA Online to keep members up to date.
“While we are concerned about the hurricane’s impact on
business, we also are focused on the personal side of the
situation,” said Hank Philips, president of NTA. “That includes
determining the location and status of people facilitating
communication, and offering personal support in any way we
NTA is posting regular updates to their Web site and offering an
online forum where members can post thoughts or read updates about
the situation on the Gulf Coast.
The Travel Industry Association (TIA), along with Travel &
Tourism Coaliltion and the Travel Business Roundtable, is offering
victims use of an online job database, www.katrinajobs.org, to help
workers displaced by the hurricane.
On the West Coast, South Bay Women in Travel (SBWIT) is reaching
out to help their sister club Mid-South Women in Travel whose
members come primarily from the New Orleans area. At this time,
they are trying to locate members and set up a way for donations to
go directly to those in need.
“We are trying to keep all of our members informed as to what’s
going on,” said Beverley Auerbach, vice president of A Marketing
Perspective and a member of South Bay Women in Travel. “We want to
try and help our industry in a concrete way.”
Many other organizations, corporations and independent agencies
are also offering assistance and donations. For a complete list of
how the tourism industry is aiding disaster relief, go to