Tourism Cares and Travel South Plan to Give Back to the Georgia Aquarium

Tourism Cares, the travel industry non-profit dedicated to preserving the travel experience for future generations, will join forces with Travel South USA during the 2011 Travel South USA Showcase, February 22-24, 2011 in Atlanta, GA, to raise money for the Sea Turtles Project of the Georgia Aquarium.

During the Showcase, funds will be raised by selling bracelets and sea turtle plush toys to attending delegates.

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“Our efforts to preserve the travel experience for future generations must include preserving our world’s natural treasures as well as those of cultural and historic significance,”   stated Bruce Beckham, Executive Director of Tourism Cares.  “Tourism Cares is pleased to help with this important sea turtle conservation project.”

The Georgia Aquarium in conjunction with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will put the grant money raised during the Showcase towards sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation.  Along the southeastern Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast, sea turtles and their habitats are threatened and endangered.   Last year alone, the Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Sea Turtle Center worked together to successfully rescue, rehabilitate and release more than a dozen animals affected by a single severe cold stun event. Without specialized veterinary care, appropriate facilities and community support, emergencies like this would go without response.

In conjunction with ongoing efforts to rescue and rehabilitate turtles, both the Georgia Aquarium and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center are committed to educating and inspiring their more than two million combined annual visitors to increase the awareness of sea turtle habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health, and empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.

“Travel South is excited to once again partner with Tourism Cares in support of Save the Sea Turtles Project,” said Kevin Langston, Chairman of Travel South USA and the Deputy Commissioner for Tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  “Not only are Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Sea Turtle Center some of Georgia’s most popular tourism attractions, but they have played a vital role in sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation. It is an honor for Travel South to support this very important initiative taking place right here in Georgia.”

Tourism Cares is a non-profit public charity whose mission is to preserve the travel experience for future generations.  It accomplishes this by mobilizing the travel and tourism industry and travelers to give back to society through grants to natural, cultural and historical sites throughout the world; through academic and professional development scholarships for students of hospitality, travel and tourism; and through the organization of volunteer efforts to clean up and restore tourism-related sites in need of care and rejuvenation.  For more information about Tourism Cares, please visit www.TourismCares.org.

Travel South USA is America’s oldest and largest regional travel promotion organization, formed in 1965 by resolution presented at the Southern Governor’s Conference. The long-standing regional collaboration of the state tourism offices of  Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia provides a foundation to positively position tourism as a vital and dynamic element in the region’s economic development.  Tourism ranks throughout the region as one of the top three industries, behind manufacturing and agriculture, and is responsible for $122.6 billion in spending by visitors generating 1,369,900 direct jobs, $29.7 billion in worker paychecks, and almost $16 billion in state and local taxes.  For more information, please visit www.TravelSouthUSA.com for consumer information and www.TravelSouthUSA.org for travel industry information.

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