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The travel industry rallied to raise more than £250,000 in fewer than three days to help the people of Nepal following Saturday’s earthquake.
The 7.9-magnitude quake near Pokhara resulted in the deaths of more than 4,300 people, with 8,000 injured, as Travel Weekly went to press.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel to Nepal, as international rescue teams flew into the capital Kathmandu.
The disaster sparked an immediate response from the travel industry. Trailfinders alone donated £100,000. Chairman Mike Gooley said the firm was “deeply saddened”.
“Trailfinders began operating tours to Kathmandu in 1970 and has a close and abiding connection with Nepal and its people,” he said.
Travel Counsellors donated £20,000 to children’s charity Plan International, which has worked in Nepal for three decades.
G Adventures and Intrepid Travel also launched appeals.
Both operators accounted for all their clients and staff. As of Tuesday, Intrepid, which had 168 travellers in Nepal, including 24 Brits, had raised £108,220 worldwide through The Intrepid Foundation. Just over half was raised through the trade, customers and staff, which the company matched.
UK managing director Michael Edwards said: “At times like this, you realise how good agents and operators are at responding to situations of this sort.”
G Adventures, which had 156 travellers and 15 guides in the region, had raised £44,496 within 72 hours. If it reaches its CAD100,000 (£54,284) target, it has pledged a further CAD25,000 to support the recovery of affected communities via its non‑profit organisation Planeterra.
Managing director EMEA Brian Young said: “We have a responsibility to support these people and communities.”
STA Travel’s global land product director, Lisa Fitzell, said: “We want to do all we can to help the people of Nepal following the devasting earthquake and have launched a global “Round Up” campaign across our worldwide retail network, as well as online.
“Our customers giving just a few pounds by rounding up the value of their trip to make a donation will make a massive difference to this cause.
“100% of Round It Up For Nepal funds raised through the STA Travel Foundation will go directly to the Global Giving Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, and STA Travel will match all donations made through the STA Travel Foundation in 2015 up to the value of US$30K."
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