With the despicable invasion from Russia and the ongoing conflict in the country, you might have expected Ukraine’s tourism industry to have dropped off slightly, but here are the unexpected reasons why it’s doing just fine.
Hotel Resilience During Chaos
In the wake of the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion, the Hotel Leopolis in Lviv, Ukraine faced unprecedented challenges, yet, its doors remained open.
A Bold Decision
The hotel management chose to continue renovations during air strikes, displaying a remarkable commitment to their guests and the future.
“We decided to continue renovations to be ready when the war ends,” revealed General Manager Kateryna Matiushchenko.
High Tourism During Tough Times
Even during the conflict, the hotel had a steady flow of guests, surpassing pre-Covid levels, something that Matiushchenko admitted was, “Better than we planned… given the constant threat of massive attacks and electricity switch-offs.”
Story of a Hotel Bomb Shelter
The hotel’s bomb shelter, formerly a cigar lounge turned private event space, provides safety and comfort amidst the unpredictable conflict.
Visitors Find Refuge
Igor Gut and Finnish guest Hanna Karttunen shared their gratitude for the hotel’s bomb shelter, “I know this shelter at the Leopolis is where I will go next time” describing it as “beautiful.”
A Community in Chaos
Gut even admitted that “You always have somebody to drink with,” sharing the community feeling that’s shining even through these tough times.
A Booming Industry
Ukraine’s western regions, including Lviv and Carpathian mountain resorts, have been popular for both international and local tourists seeking refuge from the conflict, “Almost 3,000 foreign media representatives were registered [in 2022],” said the head of the Lviv tourism office.
Broken Families Reunited
Families separated by distance or conflict find solace in reuniting at the country’s resorts making the most of the peaceful location.
Providing Support in Times of Need
Hotels have become sanctuaries for internally displaced persons (IDPs), providing accommodations, meals, and emotional support in times of crisis.
Help for Heroes
The Edem Golf Club has partnered their gold pros with doctors to give assistance to wounded soldiers on the club’s grounds.
Emotional Tribute to Lost Ones
“We lost one waiter from the restaurant. He was a soldier, and he was killed there. And we have one guy who is missing. He was a soldier as well,” the CEO of Edem tearfully announced.
Holding on to Their History
Museums play a crucial role in preserving history and culture, that’s why tourists and locals visit them regularly, with a newfound desire to learn more about Ukraine’s history.
Thinking of the Children
Some travel companies are staying afloat by organising children’s camps to keep up the spirits of those who are vulnerable, while also enabling a steady flow of income.
A Shared Mission
Lviv’s hospitality industry contributes to the conflict’s battlefront by offering food, accommodation, and support to those impacted by the war.
A Personal Struggle
The war’s toll on hospitality professionals is clear, with many losing homes, jobs, and loved ones.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / AlexLMX. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.