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In an effort to support communities across the country during this unprecedented public health crisis, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced a new initiative – Hotels for Hope – to connect hotel properties with the health community, struggling to find housing and support as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows.

The newly launched initiative, just announced in partnership with AHLA partner state associations across the country, has identified over 6,500 properties nationwide located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities that are at the ready to assist government efforts and work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the US Army CORPS of Engineers and local emergency management and public health agencies to provide access to hotel properties to support the health community and our nation’s first responders who may be in need of temporary housing during this crucial time.

To help match and streamline the process for willing hotel properties to connect with federal, state, and local governments, AHLA is working to create a national “Hotels for Hope” database at the federal level with HHS, as well as at the local level with industry partner state associations. Local, state and federal government officials will be able to search willing properties based on geographic location.

Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO: “As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis. Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different. AHLA, in partnership with our partner state associations, are proud to work on behalf of our member companies to facilitate partnerships with federal, state and local governments to support the health community during this critical time.”

Already, examples of hotels partnering with local and state officials in communities are being reported in Chicago and California, and more efforts are expected in the coming days and weeks, including New York City and Texas.

“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” Michael Jacobson, CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”

“‘Hotels for Hope’ is just one of the many ways that our hotels are helping those in need in our communities during this time of crisis,” said Kim Sabow, President and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. “We look forward to working with all interested parties, including local and state officials, and the federal government to find innovative solutions to make it through this critical time together.”

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Top Tips for Those Interested in Starting Travel Photography



Traveling the world is the only way to truly know the world. Sadly, not everyone is able to travel the world. As a travel photographer, you can document landscapes, peoples, cultures, customs and history to share with those at home. You’ll also be helping other travelers know what to expect when they visit the places you’ve been. If you are looking to get started in travel photography, consider the following.

Picking Your Gear

The first thing you are going to need is obviously a camera. In fact, you probably want multiple. Your smartphone camera isn’t going to cut it. Smartphones can take nice pictures, but they lack the depth and clarity of a high-quality camera. If you’re going to make a profession out of this, you need to invest. You want a camera that can handle different lighting, focus points, and shutter speeds. If you really want to stand out, you may even consider getting a photography drone.

Aside from cameras, you’re also going to want a quality assortment of lenses. If you want to have really sharp images, according to Photography Talk, then you should use prime lenses. You’re also going to need something to carry it all in. Normally, it’s best to keep your camera gear in a hard case. And you might want to do that when you’re traveling to your destination. But when you’re out and about exploring, you’ll want easy access, so get a photography bag with plenty of padding.

Protect Your Gear

Whatever equipment you choose to get, it won’t come cheap. As such, you really want to protect it. That means more than just getting a good carrying case. You need to make sure that you are cleaning your equipment regularly. Check your owner’s manual for any recommended routine maintenance.

It’s usually a good idea to insure your equipment. You can often buy an insurance package for an additional fee when you purchase your equipment. This will provide you with a quick repair or replacement if your camera is broken or stolen. That isn’t the only type of insurance travel photographers use. According to Athos Insurance Solutions, rental houses will always require the renters to have inland marine equipment insurance, and almost all of them will also require general liability insurance.

Finding Your Destination

If you want to stand out, you need to have quality work that engages people. So, as The Wandering Lens suggests, you need to put a lot of thought into the destinations you choose to document. People are intrigued by the unknown and mysterious. Not many people are amazed by another travel blog about a trip to New York City. That is a place that has been photographed and blogged about by millions. More intriguing would be a trip to Western New York to visit an Amish community. There you could document a culture that is vastly different from what modern society experiences. The curiosity of the unknown would drive interest in your work.

Staging Your Shots

There is a lot more to photography and videography than a simple point and shoot. If you’re going to be making a vlog, you should plan out your video ahead of time. If you are posing for pictures, you should practice your poses in front of a mirror so that you know what they look like. You want to pick the right time for photography. The best lighting is usually at sunrise and sunset. However, if it is a cloudy day, you may want to go a bit earlier or later since it will get darker sooner. If you choose to include drone videos and photography, make sure that you plan your flights ahead of time so that you don’t waste battery. Be sure that you check with local regulations before flying.

Reaching Your Audience

Success as a travel photographer depends on your ability to reach and connect with your audience. As such, you need to know who your audience is. What demographic are you shooting for? Travel interests will vary between age groups. You should pick something and stick to it. The subjects of your photographs should connect with the interests of your target audience. If your audience is interested in history, then photographing ancient ruins will be more productive than beaches. When you post your images, cater your wording towards your audience.

There is a beautiful world out there waiting to be discovered. It is your job as a travel photographer to go out there and find it, capture it in photographs and video, and bring it back for the rest of the world to see. Your work will add to the wonder and awe that people have for this life.

Here’s another article you might like: Play Safe at Home With a Fun-Filled Family Staycation

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