Created by a group of hospitality industry veterans, #HospitalityHelps was launched with one goal: to provide temporary hotel accommodation to Ukrainian residents who are forced to leave their homes because of war.
#HospitalityHelps is an online booking platform for short-term hotel stays for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The global initiative has already gained support from many of the leading hospitality groups including Accor, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, as well as independent hotels.
It is currently the only booking platform that works across borders and brands.
“It started with one family needing a rest, after a gruesome 72-hour drive.
“Now we provide, day by day, a rest in a warm and comfortable bed to hundreds of families.
“This is hospitality at its best.
“After 33 years of delivering hospitality consulting services at PKF, this is the one thing where I feel like having made a difference,” said Michael Widmann, global chief executive of PKF Hospitality Group.
To date, 322 hotels have signed up to provide accommodation across 38 countries, almost 7,000 room nights were booked with 33,575 room nights available.
This number is growing every day.
Round-the-clock support is provided in three languages (Ukrainian, Russian and English) by Ukrainian refugees who were successfully accommodated by #HospitalityHelps.
Preben Vestdam, chief executive of HotelSwaps, added: “In 48 hours we managed to establish a whole new dedicated reservation system whereby hotels could donate rooms and people fleeing the war could book a few days of rest on their way towards their destination.”
The industry has been both fast and united, with nearly all global hotel brands using #HospitalityHelps.
“Participating hotels has tripled in the last ten-days, and we expect that again to triple to 1,000 hotels in the next ten days,” said Jonathan Worsley, chief executive of Bench Events.
The website connects Ukrainian residents who are seeking shelter with hotels around Europe that provide free accommodation.
Hotels are encouraged to sign up and contribute their room nights here.
There is no minimum required room night donation, but each reservation will be of up to five nights in double rooms.
Initiators of #HospitalityHelps are PKF Hospitality Group, HotelSwaps, Zoocha, Bench and Moodley, supported by many others who have volunteered to help.