As the devastating war in Ukraine rages on, people around the world are assisting Ukraine’s fight and helping in whatever ways they can. Some are donating money, some are offering supplies, others their time, and many of them are donating shelter.
Young travelers, who are integral to the success of the hospitality and tourism industry, care exponentially more than previous generations about worldwide crises and what causes the organizations they support care about. “Millennials give $481 to charity annually [and] 84% of millennials give to charity and nonprofits”. Responding to humanitarian crises around the world is now possible with a click of a button, so consumers are holding companies accountable.
Many hoteliers around the world are also stepping up and housing refugees who need a temporary home. Other big hotel chains are donating directly to organizations that are supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, while other individuals are hunkering down and starting their own nonprofits.
What actions are being taken to supply quick and safe accommodation?
Berlin-based businessman, Florian Wichelmann, launched a site called everybedhelps.com, two days following Russia’s initial invasion into Ukraine. He realized that he could temporarily house Ukrainian refugees in his rental properties, and others quickly followed suit. Refugees can now request a bed in over 50 cities.
#HospitalityHelps has a website that connects refugees fleeing Ukraine to hotels that can house them temporarily. There are over 600 hotels listed on this website providing shelter quickly and effectively.
There are also several other resources on #HospitalityHelps for employment support, crossing the border, and other housing options that are open to longer stays. Many websites are taking on the task of being a centralized location for Ukrainian refugees to gather any and all information they may need.
Which hotels in the hospitality industry are supporting the cause?
Some hotels are donating directly to humanitarian efforts by giving their guests the option to either have their room cleaned that day, or donate a set amount to an organization assisting Ukraine. This initiative gives guests agency to help the outstanding crisis in a way they may not have been financially able to on their own.
Hyatt is showing up for its Ukrainian employees and aiding as many refugees as they can. For example, World of Hyatt members are able to donate their World of Hyatt points to support the World Red Cross.
Putting the power to create change in your guests hands is an inspiring way hoteliers are ensuring customer satisfaction and increasing brand loyalty.
How are hotels making a statement on the conflict?
Hotels are getting political and making their views on the devastating war loud and clear. For example, Hyatt Group halted its development and investment plans to grow in Russia for the time being.
Airbnb has also paused all of its activities in Russia and Belarus at this time. On top of that, the two co-founders of the popular vacation site, sent multiple letters to governments all across Europe, offering to support refugees specifically in their territory.
On top of providing shelter and donating funds, some hotels in Estonia where refugees are seeking accommodation, are offering to hire them on the spot to work in the hotel as well.
In Lithuania, the Linthuanian authorities have created a website and phone line that assists Ukraninans in their relocation to Vilnius.
Hoteliers are seizing their opportunity to do good in the world and their customers are taking note.
How you can help:
- Donate directly to support Team Ukraine Love in their efforts to supply generators, mats and much more on the ground.
- Assist https://www.unicefusa.org/ by setting up a monthly donation to help Ukraine’s children.
- Support Doctors Without Borders as they respond quickly to emergencies in Ukraine.
Liat Perlman studies at George Washington University in Washington DC, majoring in Business with a Concentration in International Business and minoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. She loves to travel and passionate about connecting the world and creating content of her adventures. When Liat is not creating trip videos or posting on her Instagram story, you can find her grabbing coffee and taking photos of everything she passes.