#MyTravelPledge campaign to benefit COVID-19 ‘frontliners’

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 2:00pm

The main aims of the #MyTravelPledge campaign are threefold: Give something for healthcare workers to look forward to, and boost morale, at this hugely difficult time; give property owners some hope that their tourism businesses might have a future when travel restrictions are lifted, and invite travelers to start visiting New England and Spain and other European countries again once the crisis abates.

Mark Osborn and Buzz Makarewicz, owners of Topside Inn of Boothbay Harbor, are participating in the campaign. “We have been looking for ways to give back to all of the people who are giving so much to keep us all safe, often putting their own health at risk,” Osborn said. “In an effort to begin to do this, we have teamed up with a growing number of international lodging properties to provide much needed breaks to these healthcare workers and their families once travel restrictions have been lifted.”

Launched by Ian Rutter and Andrew Watson, owners of the boutique Bed & Breakfast Casa Higueras near Granada, the initiative will offer free short breaks to healthcare workers and other frontline essential personnel once the coronavirus crisis starts to abate.

Started with independently owned properties in Spain, the list has grown to over two dozen inns and boutique hotels. Topside Inn is the first U.S. property. The properties are now listed on the campaign website, alongside pledges for therapeutic treatments, airport transfers and flights.

All healthcare employees or their friends, colleagues and relatives can send nominations for these free breaks through the MyTravelPledge website or contact Topside Inn directly through the online submission form.

“Everybody involved in this growing campaign wants to give something back to those people working at the forefront of the fight to control Coronavirus,” explains Rutter. “As small travel and tourism businesses, we have no bookings due to travel restrictions, so feel that this is the very least we can do. We also hope that, by being a part of this initiative, it will give everyone something to look forward to, and we all need that right now.”

Topside Inn will be offering multiple free stays this year and next. All healthcare employees or their friends, colleagues and relatives can send nominations through the MyTravelPledge website or contact Topside Inn through the submission form at https://topsideinn.com/my-travel-pledge/

Osborn reported receiving three nominee requests after the first post on Topside’s Facebook page May 5. “A doctor running an ICU in a COVID-19 unit; a firefighter/paramedic in San Antonio, Texas and a nurse at Mass General Hospital Boston in their COVID-19 ICU unit. We hope to offer as many stays as we can once travel becomes possible.”