• Hospitality Industry Steps Up to Help Ukrainian Refugees

     
    POSTED March 19, 2022
     

In early March, Meeting Professionals International released a statement regarding the invasion of Ukraine: 

“In a show of support for the people of Ukraine, MPI will immediately suspend business with all companies in Russia. In addition, any plans to formalize a chapter in Russia will be paused….We remain concerned for the well-being of our community and our MPI members in Russia and Ukraine who were already seeking to climb out of the shadow of this pandemic and are now experiencing these unprecedented challenges.”

Hospitality industry veterans representing PKF hospitality group, The Bench, HotelSwaps, Moodley, Museum Booster and Zoocha also responded to the crisis by forming the group, #HospitalityHelps. #Hospitality Helps 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 world’s leading hospitality groups including Accor, Hilton, IHG and Marriott as well as independent hotels, and is the only booking platform that works across borders and brands.

As of March 17, 2022, 322 hotels have signed up to provide accommodation across 38 countries, almost 7,000 room nights were booked with 33,575 room nights available. Support is provided 24/7 in three languages (Ukrainian, Russian and English) by Ukrainian refugees who were successfully accommodated by #HospitalityHelps.

 

The return of familiarization trips is one key sign that things are beginning to return to normal in our industry. In mid-June the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) hosted more than 40 meeting and convention planners for a three-day familiarity tour. Their stay included a visit to the Franklin Institute and world premiere exhibit Harry Potter: The Exhibition, evening reception on the Rocky Steps, and a watch party as Philadelphia was announced as a host city for the FIFA World Cup 2026.

 

If you’ve hosted meetings at the Javits Center or other venues in Manhattan, you know that there’s more than enough to do in the borough to easily keep attendees busy for days.

 

Pittsburgh may be known as The Steel City, but it has plenty of greenery, too, and opportunities for groups attending meetings here to get out in nature. The Pittsburgh CVB, which has the tagline “Only in Pittsburgh,” has proudly shared the news that the Great Allegany Passage was named a winner in the 2022 USA Today “10Best Readers’ Choice” travel award contest for “best recreational trail.”