An initiative offering free holidays in Ibiza and other destinations to NHS and public sector health workers from across Europe has launched a crowdfunding campaign.
Announced last summer, Together for Health Heroes (T4HH) aims to provide a complimentary vacation to key staff who showed professionalism and strength during the pandemic.
As the official website explains, the idea began in Ibiza, where hoteliers and other accommodation owners were asked to sign up to offer free stays for doctors, nurses and more. This has since expanded to cover more European locations, and the Middle East.
It has now been confirmed that the campaign has secured 140 luxury accommodation options, equating to 6,800 complimentary nights with a value of over €1million. For Ibiza, these include Pacha's Destino Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Aguas de Ibiza Grand Luxe, and 7Pines Resort.
The first guests will begin arriving late-sumer 2021, and around 400 health professionals will be chosen, including 50 NHS workers. Other recipients of the free break will come from Spain, France, Austria, Germany and Italy.
A number of donation options are now available on the crowdfunding page for those who want to get involved and help out with flight costs — £15, £25, £50, £100, and £150. You can also choose to donate as a group and cover the cost of an entire trip.
“This shows unity and why Ibiza people and businesses care deeply about what has happened over the last 18 months," added Juan Miguel Costa, Director of Tourism at the Consell d' Eivissa.
"We are proud to be part of an initiative that gives back to Healthcare Heroes when they need it most. Ibiza has come together for the people of the world," added Cres Huertas, Director at Pacha, which owns one of the Ibiza hotels the 'healthcare heroes' will stay at.
"Your support can help Healthcare Heroes pack their bags for moments that matter. Give today to send healthcare workers and their families on the breaks they deserve more than ever this summer," an official statement reads. "Together we are driving change by celebrating and rewarding those who put our community, family and friends first during the COVID-19 outbreak."
The campaign offers more than the benefit of a much-needed vacation for those who have been on the frontline of the coronavirus emergency. Many Southern European territories are heavily reliant on tourism. Few more so than Ibiza, where 90% of GDP comes from tourists, most of which have been unable to visit over the past 17 months due to travel restrictions.
Clubs on Ibiza largely remain shuttered due to current regulations, although the first test event was held in June at the Hard Rock Hotel, and venues such as Ushuaïa Ibiza have now begun hosting seated, outdoor shows. Last month, the UK placed the Balearic Islands, including Ibiza, back on its Amber Travel List, meaning visitors must quarantine for ten days after returning home unless they have been vaccinated, in which case multiple COVID-19 arrival tests must still be booked and paid for.