For the past two years, Paul Gauguin Cruises has been a proud member of Tourism Cares. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, Tourism Cares is the charitable community of the travel and tourism industry. Founded by NTA and USTOA in 2003, with representation from ASTA, IATAN, and many of the industry’s leading companies and associations, Tourism Cares spans and connects the entire industry around giving back.
The organization channels the philanthropic passion and commitment of the travel industry to protect and restore valuable destinations we all care about—and supports those destinations as engines for prosperity and pride in their communities.
Tourism Cares domestic programs focus on industry-wide volunteer events, capacity building for the nonprofit stewards of tourism sites, and scholarships and mentoring to support a talented workforce. Globally, their efforts include corporate social responsibility partnerships, strategic investments, and advocacy and education across the travel industry.
In September, three members of the Paul Gauguin Cruises marketing team took part in Tourism Cares’ volunteer event at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington state. This was the fourth event in the National Park Service Centennial volunteer series, bringing together 100 travel and tourism volunteers from cruise lines, tour operators, attractions, hotels, tourism bureaus, travel organizations, travel agents, and travel industry suppliers around the nation to work alongside National Park Service staff in helping to preserve the special landscape of this important national treasure.
Mt. Rainier National Park offers its nearly 2 million annual visitors a variety of recreational activities within its 369 square miles. With so much park to take care of, the National Park Service relies on the generosity and dedication of volunteers to assist with maintaining the environment for future generations to enjoy.
The Tourism Cares volunteers, together with National Park Service staff, undertook various projects on Mt. Rainier. As volunteers gathered together on the morning of September 16, each was assigned to a group. Members of Paul Gauguin Cruises staff were delegated to help with historic landscape maintenance and vista clearing in Longmire along with winter-prep of its Stewardship Campground.
Led by a National Park Service staff member, each group set off to the work site. After donning work gloves and grabbing tools, volunteers started on the projects. One group provided trail maintenance at Paradise by the park’s main visitor center. Another group planted willows along the park’s Westside Road. A member of the Paul Gauguin Cruises team worked on vista clearing, which included removing invasive species of foliage on a rocky river bed. The other two staff from Paul Gauguin Cruises helped clear large piles of debris and tree branches from a storm. Other volunteers helped take down heavy-duty, seasonal tents in the Longmire Stewardship Campground along with other winter-prep duties.
Not only was the day-long event fun, it was a great opportunity to work together with other travel and tourism industry representatives. Most of all, it made a tremendous impact on the park, the visitors, and the crews who work tirelessly to maintain these visited areas.
For additional information Tourism Cares or to contribute, visit www.tourismcares.org.