By Stephanie Auslander, Destinations International
As the world watches the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine unfold over the last few weeks, the tourism industry can play a role in helping to facilitate a better world for all citizens. At the time of this posting, the United Nations estimates that in that because of the conflict, roughly 2 million people have made the transition from residents to refugees seeking a new home. As a result, the tourism industry continues to step up in a way that is designed to help foster meaningful impact that touches the lives of all those affected by the crisis.
Most notably, the World Central Kitchen led by Chef Jose Andres has been on the ground in Ukraine helping to feed displaced people because of the increased escalation. World central kitchen has been working at a 24-hour pedestrian bridge crossing in Southern Poland feeding those most in need. Furthermore, the organization has set up workstations in border countries including Moldova and Romania. Donations received will directly support their emergency efforts in providing hot & fresh meals to those fleeing.
Additional ways to support the ongoing humanitarian relief effort are found below.
Air BnB- The organization has recently increased its efforts to assist those fleeing the conflict and have aided those seeking shelter. Over the course of the last week, the organization reports that it has reached 11,183 hosts looking to provide shelter for the displaced. Additionally, the organization is offering free-short term housing to approximately 100,000 displaced persons including those left behind. Donations received can help host a stay or help cover the cost of temporary accommodations.
Hotel Swaps- The platform allows hotels to facilitate accommodation needs for displaced families.
H-Art for Ukraine- The cultural sector in Amsterdam is assisting those fleeing the crisis by hosting several events in March encompassing showcasing solidarity through art, illuminating buildings in blue & yellow light, and showcasing supportive messaging imagery across the country.
Border Country Housing Assistance
Custom Google Maps- This tool shows availability of apartments across Poland which are ready and able to assist Ukrainian refugees.
Moldova for Peace- The country has recently launched a similar site which is ready to assist housing needs for Ukrainian refugees
Austrian Hotel Association- The association has recently encouraged hospitality businesses to get in touch helping where needed. Additionally, the city has a sign-up page for those looking to offering accommodations to displaced Ukrainians.
Remote Ukraine works alongside Destination Organizations in Europe looking to address the growing labor shortage in the hospitality sector. To bridge the gap, the organization has worked to connect companies with labor shortage needs to those skilled workers who are now on the run.
Ukranian Tourism Board
The Ukrainian tourism board is calling on professionals across the sector to denounce the conflict. The board joins a growing list of global tourism related business speaking out against the war. The organization has called on others in the industry to take a stand against the war in seeking to restrict business in Russia. Skift includes a list of all tourism related businesses adding restrictions.
Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
In conjunction with Ukraine and bordering countries, Disaster Emergency Committee works with charities to assist displaced refugees. The average donation is between 30 and 100 euros, which helps provide blankets, hygiene products, and provides emergency supplies.