Organisations across the events and hospitality sectors are showing their support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, amid concerns about how the conflict could impact international travel.
Event industry charity Meeting Needs has donated £10,000 to The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). More than a million refugees have left homes and jobs and are trying to get out of the country, carrying only the clothes and belongings they can carry.
The cash will be used for essential hygiene supplies, food and blankets. £10,000 can provide essential hygiene supplies for 1,000 people for one month, blankets for 800 families or feed 200 families for a month.
Meeting Needs chair Jason said: “The DEC is forecasting more than four million Ukraine citizens will be displaced and most of these will be women and children so we decided to move swiftly with an extraordinary meeting and make an early donation on behalf of the events industry, so that funds can be delivered quickly by the committee where it is most needed. I know we have all been horrified by the Russian invasion and we hope our contribution can ease some of the suffering.”
IMEX has suspended Russia from exhibiting at its show in Frankfurt in May, IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer and chairman Ray Bloom revealed the news in a statement on LinkedIn last week.
“Sadly, today we have taken the decision to suspend Russian state enterprises from participating at IMEX in Frankfurt 2022, as a direct result of the current political situation”, they said. “We do this with a heavy heart, understanding that the world is in an unprecedented situation. Our hearts go out to everyone who is affected and especially the people of Ukraine. All of us wish for a speedy and peaceful resolution to this conflict.”
In solidarity with Ukraine, micebook has also removed all Russian guides from our Destination guides on the hub.
In our micebook talks session on the Ukraine crisis last week, several UK representation companies shared how their DMCs in bordering companies such as Poland were helping with humanitarian efforts.
Hotel companies are also showing their support for the people of Ukraine. Accor has announced that it is already welcoming refugees in its hotels, notably in Poland, Romania, Hungary and France. The Group is mobilising the ALL Heartist fund to support its employees and their families. The Accor Heartist Solidarity fund is also open to donations from employees, which will then be matched by the group.
Set up by Stay the Night, a marketing agency, and Kash Bhattacharya, who runs the BudgetTraveller consumer site, the Hospitality for Ukraine campaign is calling on hotels, hostels and other accommodation providers to open their doors to Ukrainian refugees.
Companies can register here to join a database which will then be published on a dedicated platform and shared with relevant organisations supporting refugees on the ground.
Event profs who joined our virtual talks session last week, shared their sadness at the conflict and concerns for how the crisis will impact client confidence and international travel, which was just beginning to recover after the easing of Covid restrictions.
Several event profs said they had already experienced the postponement of events in the last week due to the conflict, with one citing that the closure of flight routes over Russia had made it difficult for delegates from the Far East to attend. Another event, an incentive in Italy planned for May, was postponed due to perception concerns.
Event profs expressed concern that clients may not want to be seen to be hosting incentives or celebratory events in the current climate, while others questioned whether the impact the conflict is having on oil and gas prices and inflation could hit budgets.
On the other hand, business in the UK remains strong, and there is still a lot of pent-up demand for live events and experiences this year following the pandemic.