The powerful earthquake and tsunami that late last week hit Japan already has resulted in thousands of deaths. Now the country is dealing with the possible rupture of nuclear reactors that threaten additional lives.
Some of Japan’s sons and daughters happened to choose this time to travel outside of their home country. We know, because they are staying in our hostels. One can only imagine how difficult it must be to be away from family and friends.
HI-USA staff and volunteers share our condolences with all of the Japanese people. It is a tragedy so large with potential consequences so dire that only actions can adequately signal support. And to start, we have taken these:
• We are offering our help with contacting home, extending stays longer than usual, and sharing Japanese consulate contact details.
• We are refunding in full all unused individual and group reservations made for overnight stays by Japanese citizens. If changes need to be made to travel plans, we want to fully support them.
• We are refunding in full HI-USA memberships purchased by Japanese citizens, upon request.
We offer these as an expression of our solidarity. Yet we appreciate the true difference will be through the individual acts of kindness that are extended in our daily lives. Within the travel community, those deeds are likely to happen as we cross paths in hostels, museums and coffeehouses.
The community of travelers is worldwide in scope, rich in experience, and deep in understanding. This is our time to respond.
For more details visit our website. Our thanks to the International Youth Hostel Federation for their support.