ORLANDO, FLA.—Florida For Good (FFG), an organization that helps bolster the business for good movement in the state, has just launched the B Tourism resource platform for sustainable tourism businesses to connect, share best practices and during these trying times, provide free resources to those companies dealing with negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the For Good Movement Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, FFG was founded on the principles of helping businesses in Florida become more conscious, sustainable and focused on people and the planet instead of just profit while putting a strong sense of community at the core of all they do. Having been co-created in partnership with a hospitality company, Certified B Corporation Legacy Vacation Resorts, that sense of community is stronger than ever during this unprecedented time for an industry that has suffered devastating impacts and leadership felt a strong call to action to create the new B Tourism network to be of assistance to their industry partners.
The new platform is a national network to convene the hospitality industry and tourism community for collective action to protect people’s livelihoods, facilitate business continuity and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. Helpful links and resource pages geared toward employees and employers include things such as companies that are hiring, SBA loan information, best practices for times of crisis, COVID-19 prevention measures and suggestions for self-care in a time of uncertainty. These resources are intended to help companies find ways to show their stakeholders that they place value on the triple bottom line (people, planet, prosperity) as they do their best to ensure economic viability for the organization while minimizing consequential harm through compassion and well thought out decisions.
“We know that all we can control is how we respond to these events,” said Legacy Vacation Resorts and Florida For Good co-founder Jared Meyers. “While the availability and timing of the CARES act is critical right now, it alone will not solve all these problems, so we wanted to create a platform to help bridge the gap. We have been so inspired by Florida B Corps and Hospitality B Corps in the past and they have remained excellent partners by sharing best practices and information during this crisis. We are very appreciative to be a part of the B Corp Community and wanted to give back in every way we could.”
B Tourism’s Mission is to Help Mitigate Effects
While the situation is temporary, no one knows for certain how long it will last. What FFG and LVR do know is that that these changes are significant, sudden and unprecedented for businesses in the travel space with a financial impact worse than the 2008 Financial Crisis and 9/11 combined. The American Hotel and Lodging Association reports that based on current occupancy estimates for the immediate future and historical employment impact rates, 1 million direct jobs, or nearly 3.9 million total jobs, have either been eliminated or will be eliminated in the next few weeks, and since mid-February in the U.S., hotels have already lost $2.4 billion in room revenue. B Tourism’s mission is to help mitigate these effects now, and help companies get back on their feet quickly in the future once the time does come.
“We truly hope to be a resource and a ray of hope for hospitality businesses and impacted individuals during this unprecedented event in our collective history,” said Jennifer Moreau-Chick, Executive Director of Florida For Good. “Our network understands the immense strain that many companies are feeling now in regard to their members’ financial strength and increasing stress. Florida For Good has always been driven by encouraging individuals and business owners to do the right thing, act with compassion and maintain care for a triple bottom line. Now more than ever, we are happy to be here for our network members and conscious tourism businesses around the country to assist, support, and provide access to free and discounted resources and services.”
These times will not last forever. For now, both LVR and FFG encourage travelers to make memories with family and friends at home, stay safe and draw close to what matters most. When this challenging time passes, they know society will be stronger and more eager than ever to share in the human experience and explore the world together again. Travel is magical—it breaks down cultural differences, connects us to life and cultivates connections with our loved ones, all while reducing stress and enriching our lives. Until that time when explorers from around the world can enjoy the wonder of travel together again, B Tourism will continue to help all stakeholders in the industry get back on their feet.