Hospitality and Timeshare Industry Stepping Up to Help Haiti

Today’s edition of The Timeshare Authority blog is a special two-part post about Haitian relief efforts mounted by many in the hospitality, timeshare, and hotel industries. You will also find information about ways you can support the relief efforts as well.

Part I of II

Bill Marriott, in his blog, Marriott on the Move, has written about the many Marriott hotel and resort workers who have family in Haiti. He says, “They are struggling with trying to find out what has happened to their families and loved ones… Many of these associates and numerous other Haitians on staff at our hotels around the world have suffered heartbreaking losses, and my heart goes out to each and every one of them.”

The devastation in Haiti has impacted the entire world and every aspect of industry—no one is untouched. Whether you know someone there, have family in Haiti, or you are affected because you are part of the brotherhood of man, it is impossible not to be deeply saddened by this tragedy.

Here is a partial rundown on some of the efforts being made by those in the hotel, hospitality, and timeshare resort industries to help, as well as some unexpected ways you can help, too:

Royal Caribbean International

The cruise ships of Royal Caribbean International have loaded relief supplies onboard the “Independence of the Seas.” Royal Caribbean is one of the few cruise companies to sail into Haiti on a regular basis. The Independence will be taken to Labadee, a private port on Haiti’s northern coast. Supplies will be distributed through Food for the Poor. Additional relief supplies will be sent this week onboard the “Navigator of the Seas” and “Liberty of the Seas.”

Marriott Hotels and Marriott Timeshares

While there are no Marriott hotels or Marriott timeshares in Haiti, Marriott hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are assisting as staging areas for relief work. Also, through The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Marriott is sending $500,000 to the Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund. Marriott Rewards members may donate money to the Red Cross using their Marriott Rewards points. 10,000 points given equals a $25 cash donation sent to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 18,000 points equals a $50 donation and 180,000 points equals a $1,000 donation.

Starwood Hotel and Starwood Timeshare

Starwood Preferred Guest members can also donate to the American Red Cross through Starpoints: 4,000 points equals $50; 8,000 points equals $100; 12,000 points equals $150, and 16,000 points equals $200. Starwood is reportedly matching donations made through February 15, 2010. Follow this link to learn more about sharing your Starwood Starpoints.

Haitian relief efforts provided by the hospitality industry are taking many forms. Some hotels are serving as staging areas for shipments of aid, or for relief workers. Others will be reception points for relief workers returning from Haiti.

Read a Special Sunday Edition of The Timeshare Authority tomorrow for more information on help being offered through the hospitality industry and on ways you can get involved.

Important note on donating Loyalty Points: Donations of loyalty points are typically not tax deductible (consult your tax preparer or tax advisor). Also, do not confuse loyalty points with timeshare exchange points or timeshare ownership points. While there is overlap in some programs, typically these are not considered the same by most hotel and timeshare companies. Consult your resort for clarification.

Loyalty programs of many types, from restaurants, to airlines, to your favorite movie theater, frequently allow you to redeem your points in the form of a charitable donation. Contact these programs directly to learn more.