The European Travel Commission (ETC) stands in solidarity with Ukraine and remains ready to support the Ukrainian people fleeing conflict. The ETC praises the ongoing efforts of its members and industry partners to provide transportation, shelter and food to Ukrainian refugees. There are countless examples of the outpouring of support coming both from governments and private businesses.
The ETC has collected a list with all the resources highlighting the solidarity tourism initiatives offered by its member countries across Europe. The ETC hopes that this initiative taken by certain members will also inspire other tourism stakeholders to join the efforts.
For all the necessary information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine on the temporary protection and their rights of travel inside the EU, please visit the European Commission website.
- The Austrian Hotelier Association (ÖHV) has passed on a list of accommodations which would like to temporarily host Ukrainian refugees to corresponding coordination offices. Hotels can contact the ÖHV if they would like to be listed.
- PKF Hospitality Group has launched an international assistance campaign that offers a platform to make temporarily free room contingents of hotels available to refugees.
- In Austria, people fleeing from Ukraine can use all Wienen Linien local public transport and OeBB trains free of charge.
- In Belgium, people fleeing from Ukraine can use SNCB/NMBS trains free of charge.
- Bulgaria for Ukraine platform has been built to provide transport, accommodation, medical and humanitarian assistance, and other support to Ukrainians fleeing the war. Many hotels and accommodation providers are registered to offer shelter for refugees.
- Ukrainian beneficiaries of temporary protection are also entitled to assistance for shelter and food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in accommodation for a total amount of BGN 40 per day. The amount will be granted to hoteliers providing accommodation and meals to displaced persons from Ukraine.
- In Bulgaria, people fleeing from Ukraine can use BDZ trains free of charge.
- Accommodation facilities for Ukrainian refugees. Croatia’s tourism sector has joined relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees, making its accommodation facilities available for this purpose and showing solidarity
- In Croatia, People fleeing from Ukraine can use HŽ Putnički prijevoz trains free of charge with ‘solidarity tickets’ and with a “Help Ukraine Ticket”.
- The Republic of Cyprus has provided hospitality to the refugees who need it, i.e., to those who do not have family or friends to host them.
6. Czech Republic
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use RegioJet, Leo Express, České dráhy trains and Arriva transport free of charge.
- Ukrainian refugees can also use Prague public transport and public transport in the Central Bohemian Region free of charge.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use DSB trains free of charge.
- Ukrainian cars can pass Öresundsbron (Denmark-Sweden bridge) without being charged.
- The tourism sector is at the forefront of helping Ukrainian refugees settle down. Estonian hotels are the first contact point for refugees, providing the first place to relax and sleep after a long journey. For instance, in Tartu a refugee centre is opened in a hotel.
- Accommodation establishments offer to hire Ukrainian refugees on the spot and there is a possibility that a refugee lives and already works in a hotel where he or she arrived. The Unemployment Insurance Fund opened a job offer environment for Ukrainian war refugees, there are also many offers from tourism enterprises.
- Visit Estonia, Invest in Estonia and Work in Estonia have set up a special web-page for Ukrainians with information about visas, medical help, free school and kindergarten, e-residency and founding businesses for Ukrainians.
Museums and culture:
- More than 60 Estonian museums and exhibition institutions have decided to grant free admission to Ukrainian war refugees on the basis of a document certifying citizenship. The aim of the initiative is to facilitate the integration of war refugees in Estonia. Free cultural and leisure activities in Tallinn.
- Public transport in Estonia is free for Ukrainian refugees. Refugees who have fled Ukraine can get a public transport card from the local government, or from the regional Public Transport Centre, which is valid on buses within city limits as well as buses on county lines.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Elron trains and Public Transport trains free of charge.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Onnibus and VR trains free of charge.
- Ukrainian refugees can benefit from a 95% discount on net fares for one-way Finnair tickets from Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Budapest and Prague to Helsinki.
- Gîtes de France has launched the “Ukraine solidarity” operation. On Thursday 3 March, the Federal Bureau, in conjunction with the Board of Directors of the Gîtes de France network, launched a major operation to collect donations from its network of owners and holidaymakers. The amount collected will be entirely donated to Secours populaire français, the charity and humanitarian association directly involved in the field.
- The Centaurus – Hospitality Odyssey Group and Centaurus Hospitality Management, the AHTOP (Association for Professional Accommodation and Tourism) and the Best Western France network joined forces to set up a humanitarian convoy that left on Monday 7 March. On 28 February, Best Western Hotel & Resorts France launched a fundraising campaign open to all.
- Accor Group works in close collaboration with authorities and NGOs to welcome refugees, offering shelter and resources in neighbouring countries, such as Poland, Romania, Italy and France. As of now, their hotels are mobilised in Lublin (PL), Krakow (PL), Nowy Sacz (PL), Raclawice (PL), Warsaw (PL), Bucharest (RO), Timisoara (RO), Galati (RO), Paris (FR), Genova (IT), Budapest (HU) and Chisinau (Moldova). The Group mobilises the ALL Heartist fund to support its employees and their families. The Accor Heartist Solidarity endowment fund is also open to donations from employees, which will then be matched by the group.
- To show solidarity with people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, SNCF has joined other European rail operators in offering Ukrainian refugees free train travel throughout France and to neighbouring European countries. People fleeing from Ukraine can also use Thalys trains free of charge.
- Thierry Schidler, a transport company from Moselle, transported four buses to Przemysl in Poland, near the Ukrainian border, to return with refugees.
- Thierry Speitel-Gotz, director of the travel agency TS Loisirs, took the initiative to go to Ukraine with two doctors and brought back about 100 refugees to Alsace.
- “Touristik Hilft!” platform sponsored by a multitude of companies and associations of the tourism industry allows people to offer, and refugees to find, free accommodation or any further information on staying in Germany.
- “Help Ukraine Ticket”: Deutsche Bahn offers to everyone with a Ukrainian passport, ID card or proof of residence a free ride to travel to Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg, Munich or any other German destination.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use ODEG trains and all VBB local public transport free of charge.
- Hotels will no longer be required to collect and pay tourism tax to local authorities from individuals arriving from Ukraine. Individuals who arrived in Hungary on February 24th or later, and used to be a legal resident in Ukraine before that date are exempt from paying tourist tax.
- According to the latest government decree, accommodation and local governments hosting refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine can receive a fixed amount of HUF 4,000 (ca. €10-11) per night.
- The Association of Hungarian Hotels and Restaurants published an appeal among its members to provide free accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.
- Numerous donations made by accommodation providers to Ukrainian refugees. For instance, Szallas.hu opened a special list page on its platform, Hotel Budapest donated 50 rooms, Danubius opened the biggest hotel in Hungary for Ukrainians.
- Wizz Air has announced that it will provide 100,000 free tickets for Ukrainian refugees to use on continental European flights from countries neighbouring Ukraine (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania). The airline has already put several larger aircraft and additional flights into service in countries bordering Ukraine to support the movement of displaced persons. In addition, for those refugees who have already left the region, the airline offers discounted fares on most flights to Europe (€29.99), as well as to the UAE, Iceland and the Canary Islands (€69.99).
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use all MAV trains with a free “solidarity ticket”.
- Numerous tourist accommodation providers are offering accommodation via the Irish Red Cross.
- Fáilte Ireland is in daily contact with the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) to help them secure suitable accommodation using industry contacts and sectoral expertise to expedite the process. Fáilte Ireland is identifying the most suitable formats of tourist accommodation to meet the accommodation needs of refugees.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Irish Rail trains, Bus Éireann and Expressway transportation free of charge.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Flixbus and Marino Bus transportation free of charge.
- Ukrainian refugees can travel free of charge with Trenitalia group transport within a maximum of 5 days from entering Italy.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Latvijas dzelzceļš trains free of charge.
- From rural homesteads to Tony Resort, Tech Spa Druskininkai, Holiday Inn and the award-winning 5-star PACAI hotel in Vilnius, hospitality businesses around the country provide free accommodation to Ukrainian refugees.
- Lithuanian Railways group companies also provide free accommodation for refugees in six Lithuanian cities – Klaipėda, Radviliškis, Kybartai, Lentvaris, Šilėnai and Ignalina. Former rest houses of the company could accommodate up to 300 people in total.
- National Employment Service now registers work placements suitable for Ukrainians. More than 9000 proposals have been registered so far, including jobs in hospitality services.
- Lithuanian authorities have launched a website and telephone line that enables Ukrainian refugees to receive advice on relocating to Vilnius.
Museums and culture
- The Energy and Technology Museum in Vilnius will donate all proceeds from the tickets to “Blue / Yellow” which bestows multifaceted support to Ukraine. The museum invites all Ukrainians who have found refuge in Lithuania since the war to visit the museum free of charge.
- Many museums and tourist attractions (MO Museum, Vilnius Museum, Kaunas 9th Fort Museum, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art and others) support Ukraine by offering free of charge visits for Ukrainian citizens and raising donations.
- Kaunas, the European Capital of Culture, is opening a creative space for Ukrainian people in one of the most iconic buildings in the city where various events and gatherings will take place.
- Public transport is now free of charge for Ukrainian refugees in the biggest cities – Vilnius and Kaunas.
- Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel by train in Lithuania free of charge (initiative by “LTG Link”). Passengers will only need to present their Ukrainian passport or identity card, children – their birth certificate.
- The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs is offering to cover the accommodation costs of Ukrainian nationals and their dependents, in the hotels recognised by the Malta Health Authorities as quarantine hotels for those who need to quarantine in Malta upon their arrival in the Maltese territory.
18. The Netherlands
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use NS trains free of charge.
- The accommodation database in the city of Poznan collects and provides information about available housing for refugees in Poznan.
- Hotel Olandia and the Olandia Foundation provide accommodation for Ukrainian citizens along with clothing, hygiene products, psychological assistance, interpreters and further support.
- Ilan Hotel in the city of Lublin also provides free accommodation and serves hot meals for Ukrainian refugees. In addition, the hotel runs a warehouse with humanitarian items for Ukrainians. On the ground floor of the hotel Ukrainians can pick up the most-needed products, including clothes.
- Warsaw Tourism Organisation has gathered the initiatives and activities of the city of Warsaw helping refugees find the most essential information about the help provided.
- Warsaw Aid Network for Ukraine offers information on free sightseeing in the city, museums, transport, healthcare and official matters.
- Acting on behalf of the tourism industry, TOURISM for UKRAINE organises transportation for people and materials, collection of food and humanitarian aid, as well as helps Ukrainians with accommodation and job search.
- Polish Tourism – UKRAINE is a special Facebook group about Polish tourism support for Ukraine. The group supports contact exchange, collecting food, helping to find accommodation and transferring humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
- Tourist maps in Ukrainian are published by the Local Tourist Organization Metropolia Lublin. Tourist maps contain information not only about tourist attractions, but also about support hotlines and places offering help to refugees. 20,000 maps have been distributed to hotels, accommodation facilities, residents’ service offices and many other locations in Lublin and neighbouring municipalities, where they can be accessed by Ukrainians.
- Free maps of the city of Poznan with descriptions in Ukrainian are available in print and pdf.
- Lublin Association of Pilots and Tourist Guides “Pogranicze” organises free guided walks in Lublin for Ukrainian guests, aimed at introducing them to the city.
Museums and culture
- Numerous museums, theatres, cultural institutions and other tourism facilities from across Poland provide free entrance, performances, workshops and classes for people from Ukraine, including Archaeological Museum and Archaeological Reserve Genius loci, Aqua Lublin, Poznań Croissant Museum, ZAMEK Culture Center, Open Air Museum Farm House of Pszczyna and Bison Farm, National Museum in Lublin, Castle in Pszczyna, The Banialuka Puppet Theater in Bielsko-Biała, Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom and Teatr im. H. Ch. Andersen.
- The National Museum in Poznań provides help for the Lviv National Gallery of Art to transport its exposition materials to Poland.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use PKP trains, Polferries and Flixbus transportation free of charge from Polish border cities to elsewhere in Poland.
- LOT Airlines also offers discounted tariffs for Ukrainian refugees.
- Uber also offers unlimited free trips between the Ukrainian border and Polish cities.
- Free public transport is provided in Poznan and 41 cities of Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska that surround Katowice, Sosnowiec, Bytom, Tychy and Gliwice.
- Free tickets for trains with Silesian Railways are also available free of charge.
General support/ Employment
- The Portuguese Government created the platform “Portugal for Ukraine” which gathers all the information and contacts for humanitarian support, accommodation, training and employment available for Ukrainians fleeing to Portugal.
- Turismo de Portugal and the tourism sector is part of the “Portugal for Ukraine” initiative. Job opportunities in the sector and accommodation offers are being made available by tourism companies. Training courses designed for integrating Ukrainian citizens in the tourism sector are also being developed by Turismo de Portugal.
- Turismo de Portugal developed a specific training programme “Formação + Próxima” (which translates as Formation + Prochaine/Closer Training) to host Ukrainian refugees in Portugal and integrate them into the tourism sector. The training is targeted at Ukrainian refugees and other migrants arriving in Portugal and entails modules about basic integration in the country, personal and professional development, Portuguese language/culture/patrimony/traditional products and food as well as a specific module on hospitality and tourism. The training is offered on a presential basis, by Turismo de Portugal (by the Tourism Training Schools of Turismo de Portugal), in close cooperation with local authorities.
- An online “non-touristic guide”, with practical information about Portugal for Ukrainian citizens (registration upon entering the country, hospitals, public employment services, pharmacies, Ukrainian associations, etc.) will also be made available on Visit Portugal’s website.
- The “Mezze-School” project in Lisbon trains migrants and refugees in order to facilitate their integration into the labour It offers training in the catering and hospitality sector. The “Mezze-School” is partnered with the Lisbon Hotel and Tourism School and supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The project is implemented by the Bread by Bread Association (Pão a Pão). Applications can be submitted here.
- WeHelpUkraine is a platform to help Ukrainian refugees find living support worldwide. It was created by a Portuguese university teacher, Hugo de Sousa. The structure of the platform is similar to an “Airbnb”, where both those who want to help and those who need help can register. Ukrainians fleeing the country can find information on accommodation, medical and psychological assistance, legal assistance, job offers, local language classes, etc.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use CP – Trains of Portugal free of charge.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use CFR trains and STB shuttle buses free of charge with a “Help Ukraine Ticket”.
- Ukrainian refugees can use Romfour shuttle bus from station to station free of charge. Romfour organises bus transport to Italy and other European cities.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use ZSSK trains free of charge.
- The Tourism Chamber has responded to the call of the Slovene Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants and their public call for the provision of accommodation facilities for the purpose of assistance in resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Slovenske železnice trains free of charge.
- Melia Hotels International have offered to the Balearic authorities to provide 25 rooms until the end of April. Those rooms will be a temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.
- The hotel chain Room Mate will give free rooms in the cities where it has hotels to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.
- The Travel Agency Pangea will donate 10 € to ACNUR, the UN Agency for the refugees, for each reservation made on its website in March and April, to help with the situation in Ukraine.
- Iberia and IAG Cargo have sent 12 tons of material to Budapest for the Red Cross to help with the situation of the refugees.
- People fleeing from Ukraine can use Renfe trains free of charge.
- HotellerieSuisse supports the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) in coordinating accommodation for refugees from Ukraine. Using the Campax platform, accommodation providers can easily report their availability.