The hospitality industry is renowned for its desire to support people, from guests to their local communities. At the outset of the global pandemic, the industry was quick to look for ways to utilise their hospitality skills and networks – transforming rooms into treatment facilities, supporting frontline workers, and donating equipment, food and time to local charitable organisations.
The recent crisis in Ukraine has been met with similar compassion. Hotels across Europe, from global brands to small independent operators, have been opening their doors to support people fleeing the conflict. Hotels have been providing accommodation to refugees during their journeys, ensuring that their colleagues are financially supported where operations are ceased, providing donations to charities to support their efforts, and finding employment for existing staff who’ve needed to relocate and displaced people needing new jobs.
To further advance the industry’s ability to respond to this, and similar crises, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance) has been working with its members to gather on-the-ground experience and share these learnings. As a result, they have launched a set of guidance for hotels to support the recruitment of refugees and internally displaced people, as well as providing accommodation and a welcoming experience for people in transit.
In addition, the Alliance has curated a resource hub that aims to provide links to job opportunities for people fleeing conflict, and access to training resources to enable refugees to re-skill themselves for jobs in the industry.
A crucial part of the guidance and trainings for hotels is on ethical recruitment. The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance urges the industry to be aware of the increased risk of exploitation and human trafficking caused by displacement, and recommends every hotel reviews and strengthens their due diligence and protection measures across operations and supply chains.
Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “Through conversations with our members, we recognised that every hotel was inspired to action by the crisis in Ukraine, and felt an urgent need to show their support and solidarity to colleagues and others impacted by the conflict. By sharing their real-life experiences and resources, it enables us to provide guidance and trainings to the wider industry that’s applicable not just to this present crisis, but the ongoing situations that refugees and internally displaced people continue to experience across the globe. We plan for this resource to continue to evolve and develop as we support the industry to deliver net positive hospitality.”
The working group has included the local experience and expertise of the members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, including Accor, Four Seasons, Hilton, IHG Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group.
For further information, please visit www.sustainablehospitalityalliance.org/refugee.