Last week, ATA staff members David Parry, Kate Simpson, Chase Poffenberger, Whitney Kulesz and Sandy Bremer attended the Tourism Cares gala dinner celebrating Bill Marriott’s induction into the Tourism Hall of Fame. The Tourism Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who, among other business accomplishments, have made significant personal contributions to travel and tourism through philanthropic, volunteer, and mentoring activities. Mr. Marriott exemplifies all of those attributes and more, and has been a generous supporter of Tourism Cares since its founding in 2003, as the tourism industry sought to rebuild itself after the devastating events of September 11, 2001. Bill Marriott donated hundreds of hotel rooms in Manhattan to house the first group of volunteers who descended on New York to clean up Ellis Island in the spring of 2003.
It was a chance to touch base with colleagues in the tourism industry who flew in from all parts of the country. We mingled with tourism professionals who represent organizations as diverse as tour operators, non-profits offering tours as a benefit of membership, tourism architects and planners, World Bank analysts, airlines, tourist boards, hotel companies, and research firms.
ATA is looking forward to volunteering with the 2009 Tourism Cares for America project at the historic Spangler Farm in Gettsyburg, PA. Spangler Farm was used as a field hospital for thousands of wounded soldiers during the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg. Today, the property is one of the last field hospitals kept intact as it was in 1863. We will be painting, replacing fencing, demolishing modern structures, clearing brush, repairing the outbuildings, and much more!