Hoteliers, it’s time again to help
 
Hoteliers, it’s time again to help
31 AUGUST 2017 7:20 AM

This week I share some resources for hoteliers dealing with Harvey’s effects and others who want to help. 

I can’t begin to pretend I know anything about what it feels like for a hurricane, tropical storm or any other kind of natural disaster to hit my city, much less my home. But here at Hotel News Now, we’ve spoken to several people in the last few days who are in the heart of the storm, and their stories of hospitality in the face of disaster are inspiring.

It’s time to help friends, colleagues and strangers in this storm’s path, and that time won’t be over anytime soon. You’ve done this before, for Hurricane Katrina survivors and more, and it’s time to do it again.

The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association is behind many of the local efforts to help evacuees find hotel rooms and to help hoteliers in the path of the storm find the resources they need now, like occupancy tax forms, FEMA links and more. As we learn more about Harvey’s path across new regions, more states and organizations will get involved.

Both the national AHLA and AAHOA are working with local hoteliers and government agencies to educate their members and provide resources, including guidance for those wishing to make monetary donations to the relief effort. AAHOA launched a Hurricane Harvey Complimentary Room Coalition in partnership with the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, to provide information on area hotels offering complimentary rooms to those displaced by the storms.

Certainly there will be stories about hotel price-gouging and other after-effects of a disaster like this that bring out the worst in people instead of the best (though Best Western did act quickly to terminate the membership of one hotel accused of price-gouging). Just last night I read a story about a hotel not letting an evacuated family’s dogs in the room (I really hope that story wasn’t true, or wasn’t the whole story). But right now it’s time to help. Now, it’s with money. Soon it might be with supplies, donated roomnights and assistance in navigating processes.

You’ve been there before and shown up, and I know you will again.

If you have comments or resources to share to help people learn more about how to help, leave a comment below. Or you can email me at sricca@hotelnewsnow.com or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.

The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

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