GDS-Movement strongly condemns the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine, and the horrendous violence and suffering that comes with this act of outright war. It goes against the values that we, as a team and an industry, work daily to develop and amplify – the values of compassion, community, opportunity, safety, accountability, and freedom.
Recent political actions have compounded challenges already at play in the global north, and across the world.
This includes professionals in the tourism and events space who were already adapting to the temporary halt and incumbent economic downturn brought on by the global Covid19 pandemic.
Add to these the ongoing, unpredictable, and increasingly extreme effects of climate change and you can see that we need to work together to adapt.
GDS-Movement also recognises that the people of a place are not its politics. There are victims on every side of a conflict. How can we work together to support peace?
It is with a hopeful heart that we urge all industry stakeholders to get involved and act now. We’ve seen some encouraging efforts to date.
Support for Ukraine
James Lancaster, Editorial Director at Northstar Meetings group, encouraged the events sector to step up to support, and a GDS-Movement founding partner, ICCA, urged peaceful resolution between governments.
Polish sustainability consultant, Anna Drosdowska, also promptly mobilised her professional network with a LinkedIn post with many suggestions in the comments.
Visit Berlin added dedicated support for refugees on its website.
Another of our founding partners, ECM, has a dashboard for ideas covering tourism and hospitality initiatives and humanitarian help here.
There’s a growing, decentralised movement to temporarily house Ukrainians fleeing the rain of rockets and artillery fire. The movement includes participants like AirBnB, HotelSwaps, the Danubius Hotel Hungaria chain. #HospitalityHelps is a grassroots solidarity initiative set up by hospitality industry veterans which quickly became a booking platform.
Refugees can find a room here
Hotels can offer a room here
Hospitality group, Accor, leads by example through partnering with existing relief agencies and directing its dedicated financial vehicle, the ALL Heartist Fund, to support teams and families in the Ukraine region and surrounds.
“Greek actors are also keen to contribute,” reports Hospitality ON, “such as the Sani/Ikos Group, which is offering 300 Ukrainians jobs and free accommodation under the same conditions and wages as local employees.”
Hire for Ukraine is a platform to help talented creative and technical professionals find life-sustaining work beyond the immediate relief offered refugees.
UPDATE 04.04.2022 : Lviv Travel, the destination marketing and management organisation for the Ukrainian city that stands as “a gem of architecture, but also a center of modern scientific, economic, spiritual and cultural life” encourages support for its efforts through SaveLife website.
What ideas do you have? Let’s share them and come up with co-created solutions to help put the #PowerOfCommunity to work in a real and supportive way. We will further publicise initiatives and efforts, especially those offering employment to Ukrainian refugees.
As the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, so aptly put it in his appeal to the citizens of Russia, in war, “people lose their money, reputation, quality of life, freedom, and most importantly, people lose their loved ones. Lose themselves.” Let’s help as many as we can find hope and relief through our active support.
We support a speedy and peaceful resolution to this conflict, so that we can continue to work together and use tourism and events as catalyst for peace, sustainability, and regeneration.
Let’s be the light; for the dark comes daily.