Home Publisher's Point of View Florida Travel Industry Among First to Aid Victims of Hurricane Ian

Florida Travel Industry Among First to Aid Victims of Hurricane Ian

Glenn Hasek

Since moving to Florida almost nine years ago, I have been through two hurricanes—Irma and Ian. For my neighborhood, Irma was more potent, but it was nothing compared to what the folks in Southwest Florida are going through now thanks to Ian. It is likely that the economic damage of Hurricane Ian will end up in the $75 billion range. More than 100 people lost their lives. (For the latest information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Ian, visit floridadisaster.org/info and fema.gov/disaster/4673.)

Just a day ago, the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced that the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program has been activated by the State of Florida, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That means that eligible impacted residents who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA.

In the past, the hotel industry has certainly come through during difficult times to help people who have lost their homes. Since Ian struck, VISIT Florida has worked closely with authorities and travel brands, such as Expedia, AirBnb and hoteliers throughout the state, to connect displaced Floridians with resources for finding suitable short- and long-term accommodations.

Broward County Steps Up to Help

Last week, VISIT FLORIDA learned of 23 families, who evacuated from their homes in Lee County while their newborns were in NICU care, who were urgently in need of temporary housing in Broward County as their infants were being transferred to nearby hospitals. Thanks to the Broward hospitality industry, VISIT FLORIDA was able to secure accommodations for every single family in need of assistance.

The donated rooms, spanning across 19 hotels in Broward County, will be provided to the families free of charge while their babies receive life-saving medical care from Broward Health, Joe Dimaggio, Memorial Miromar, and Memorial West Hospital.

“We are humbled to be able to help Floridians recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Ian,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO. “This incredible act of generosity from our hotel partners ensures that some of Florida’s most vulnerable residents are still able to get critical medical care despite being displaced by the storm. We sincerely thank these hotels for their donations to Florida”s NICU families and making such a positive impact on our state.”

Tradewinds’ ‘Shore to Shore’ Program

In another act of kindness, TradeWinds Island Resorts—the Island Grand and RumFish Beach Resort—recently announced their new “Shore to Shore” give back program supporting response and recovery activities for communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. From now through December 22, TradeWinds will donate $20 per room, per night to the Florida Disaster Fund, the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they recover during times of emergency or disaster. Guests booking a room through the program will be offered 25 percent off best available rates.

“Being a coastal community, we empathize with our neighbors to the south and understand the hardships so many are dealing with right now,” said Bob LaCasse, Managing Director, TradeWinds Island Resorts. “This new initiative is our way of helping, from our shore to their shore.”

If you are aware of any other hotel community acts of kindness related to Hurricane Ian, write to me at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. I would love to share your stories. And donate what you can to the Florida Disaster Fund, the American Red Cross, or other organizations assisting Ian’s victims.

Green Lodging News Adds Clean the World as Founding Sponsor

Green Lodging News has added Clean the World as a Founding Sponsor. Clean the World provides innovative impact solutions that inspire businesses and individuals to impact their community and help change the world. Through its Hospitality Recycling program, it recycles the used soap and plastic amenity bottles left behind by guests and collected by housekeepers around the world and puts it into the hands of people in need. The Impact Reporting that is provided as part of the program provides partners advanced insights on their sustainability contributions. At any given moment, partners can review, track, and observe the impact they’re making to the environment and in the lives of people in need. Most importantly, they can share that information with key stakeholders. Contact Clean the World to learn more. Call (407) 574-8353 or e-mail programs@cleantheworld.org.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers, and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, publishes Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 19,413 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each week, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for the Remainder of 2022, or 2023?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for the final quarter of 2022 and into 2023. Many excellent spots are available on our website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2022 or 2023 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 19,413. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail greenlodgingnews@gmail.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

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As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.