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Published on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Travel industry offers free holidays to NHS staff

Several initiatives have sprung up to offer NHS staff free or discounted holidays once they are able to travel again.

Two social media campaigns, #mytravelpledge and #treatournhs, have led to scores of offers of free accommodation to frontline staff. Some providers are running raffles, others are asking for nominations and many are offering rooms on a first-come first served basis.

Since its launch earlier this month by Sarah White, the owner of The Hayloft self-catering studio in Devon, the #treatournhs initiative on Instagram has seen more than 100 accommodation owners across the UK sign up, pledging anything from a weekend in a cabin to a mini-break at a Scottish castle.

So far, 17 properties in Andalucia in Spain are offering free accommodation on the My Travel Pledge website set up by the British owner of the Casa Higueras B&B in Granada, Ian Rutter. Tours and airport transfer businesses are also offering freebies on the site and two donors have offered to cover the cost of two flights.

In a separate initiative, family-owned boutique hotel Oualie Beach Resort in Nevis is offering a week's free accommodation to 20 frontline staff and their partners. "Many of our Resort's clients are from the UK and we are saddened by the daily devastating news of loss of life and loss of livelihoods," said MD John Yearwood. "The courage of the frontline staff of the NHS in risking their own health to save lives is truly inspiring and deserves recognition."

"Once our borders re-open and quarantine restrictions on incoming travellers are lifted, we look forward to welcoming NHS staff for a free well-deserved vacation in the sun," added director Karen Peterson-Yearwood.

Also, tour operator Original Travel is offering a holiday for two worth £10,000 as part of raffle for NHS staff, with other prizes donated by luxury brands.

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