After the COVID-19 crisis is over healthcare workers will deserve a vacation more than most. In the United Kingdom, the tourism industry is showing its support for those on the front lines of the pandemic by offering a free getaway once travel restrictions are lifted. As part of the #treatournhs initiative, over 100 accommodation owners across the UK have pledged to donate vacations, ranging from a weekend at a luxurious property in Spain to a cabin getaway in Cornwall to an apartment stay in the French Alps.
Sarah White, owner of The Hayloft, a self-catering studio near Dartmoor, came up with the idea. “I wanted to do something to give back to the NHS,” she said to The Guardian, “and decided to offer a two-night stay for two. I put it on Instagram and was overwhelmed by the response from others in the industry also wanting to say thank you. New people are constantly coming on board with amazing giveaways.”
White added that although the travel industry has been hit particularly hard by the virus, “the generosity I’m seeing here is heartwarming.”
Travel firms like Sawday’s and CoolStays have been advocating for the campaign on social media, in an attempt to encourage more properties to donate experiences. The initiative is intended not only to thank healthcare workers, but to serve as a morale boost during this difficult time.
To nominate a friend or loved one in healthcare — or to nominate yourself — go to the My Travel Pledge website. Winners will be chosen and contacted once travel restrictions are lifted.