Turkey/Syria: The editorial team at IHM (publisher of Boutique Hotel News) highlight the charitable relief efforts of companies across the travel and hospitality landscape in response to the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Two major earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.8 and 7.4 struck central and southern Turkey (now known as Türkiye) and northern and western Syria on the morning of Monday 6 February 2023.
Thousands of buildings, including schools and hospitals, have collapsed and infrastructure has been left badly damaged. Local responders are still searching through the rubble for survivors.
At the time of writing, at least 35,000 people are known to have been killed and many thousands more are injured across Turkey and Syria, with those numbers expected to rise. At least 17 million people have been affected, with many of them in urgent need of shelter, food and medical aid.
Charitable efforts of travel and hospitality companies
In response to the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, a number of companies in the travel and hospitality sectors are stepping up to help those affected by the natural disaster.
– Missafir has created a platform to connect earthquake victims who need accommodation.
Istanbul-based proptech startup Missafir is gathering its volunteer homeowners to open up their homes for those who have been affected by the earthquake and is organising their arrivals. If a host wishes to volunteer their home to earthquake survivors in need, they are advised to fill out a form and the company will connect them with dispersed people in need of housing or shelter.
Those looking for a place for temporary accommodation because their house was damaged in the earthquake are advised to follow this page.
– Airbnb’s non-profit organisation Airbnb.org is working with its non-profit partners and government entities to offer free, temporary housing to survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and to relief workers.
The stays will be coordinated by Airbnb.org’s non-profit partners and funded by Airbnb and donors to Airbnb.org. The company has also reached out to organisations on the ground, such as JDC, Catholic Relief Services, CARE International and Build Change, to assess how housing support can be best provided needs in impacted areas and safe zones.
Based on the guidance received, and the breadth and scope of the devastation, Airbnb.org is offering housing vouchers to first responders and rescue operations through its network of non-profit organisations and government entities. In the coming weeks and months, Airbnb.org will expand its work with non-profit partners to offer free, temporary housing to survivors in areas where it is safe to do so.
Airbnb.org does not currently provide a direct intake process for individuals in need of temporary housing. Donations are being accepted here and all donations will be matched up to a total of $5 million USD.
– London-based halal-friendly travel booking platform HalalBooking has raised more than €55,000 for those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
HalalBooking has launched a €200,000 Emergency Earthquake Appeal in cooperation with Islamic Relief UK. The company is pledging to match all donations up to €100,000, doubling the amount to €200,000.
At the time of writing, HalalBooking has raised more than €55,000 from 409 supporters on its JustGiving page – those wishing to donate to the appeal can follow this link.
Ufuk Secgin, co-founder and CMO of HalalBooking, said on LinkedIn: “It’s a catastrophe and humanitarian crisis on an unimaginable scale. Now is the time to show them our solidarity and support the people of Turkey in their darkest hour. The people need our urgent support. It’s freezing cold with up to -15 degrees celsius in the nights. People need warm shelters, blankets, medical supplies and food, so let’s reach the target of €100,000 and double the amount and use the €200,000 to support the people in need.”
– Lake District Hotels’ Turkey- Syria Earthquake appeal has raised more than £11,000 so far for The British Red Cross Society.
Lake District Hotels has match funded £5000, to reach the original target goal of a combined total of £10,000.
The directors of the family owned Lake District Hotels, Charles and Kit Graves and Daniella Hope, have promised to match fund every £1 given with another £1, up to a combined sum of £10,000, to support the people of Turkey and Syria affected by the earthquake and the aftermath.
Dani Hope, director of Lake District Hotels, said: “We have been deeply moved to hear about the tragedy which has continued to unfold in Turkey and Syria over the past few days. Seeing the heartbreak of families has truly resonated with all three directors and we wanted to do all we could to offer support and safety to those fighting for their lives.”
Those wishing to donate to Lake District Hotels’ JustGiving appeal page can follow this link.
– Booking Holdings (whose brands include Booking.com, Kayak, Priceline, Agoda, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable) is making an initial donation of €250,000 to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Booking Holdings is making an initial donation of €250,000 to the UN Refugee Agency, along with a commitment to match all employee donations made on top of this amount.
A spokesperson from Booking.com said: “Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. In addition to supporting our partners and travellers, as well as our employees with families and loved ones in the region, Booking Holdings is making an initial donation of €250,000 to the UN Refugee Agency, along with a commitment to match all employee donations made on top of this amount. UNHCR has a well-established network of local implementation partners, who are distributing food, clean water, thermal blankets, winter clothes, sleeping mats and tents to all those impacted, locals and refugees alike, with additional attention for the most vulnerable, including children who may have been separated from their families, those with disabilities and the elderly.”
– Radisson Hotel Group is encouraging its members to donate their Radisson Rewards points to help Turkey and Syria.
Radisson Hotel Group is working to offer care and support to the victims who were affected by the natural calamity.
The hotel group is encouraging its members to donate their Radisson Rewards points to help those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The donations will aid Red Cross who will coordinate on relief efforts for help, relief and recovery, and all points donations will be converted into cash and sent to the charity partner. Radisson Rewards will match the first 10 million points donated, converted in to cash for the benefit of the cause.
More information can be found here.
– Berwick Lodge boutique hotel in Bristol is holding a fundraising event on Monday 6th March, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Turkey & Syria earthquake appeal.
Berwick Lodge is selling 60 tickets (at £100 per head) for an evening fundraising event. A raffle will also run alongside the fundraising efforts. The goal is to raise £7,500 to support those affected by the crisis. Local suppliers are supporting both the event and raffle.
The event will include:
• Drink on arrival
• Entertainment from jazz singer, Zoe Hitchin and jazz pianist, Travis
• A three-course dinner with wines
• Tea and coffee
Further and frequently updated information can be found here. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
– Qatar plans to send World Cup mobile homes to affected areas in Turkey and Syria.
Qatar is sending 10,000 mobile homes that were used as accommodation in the 2022 World Cup to areas that were hit by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
The Qatari Fund for Development, which is a government body for international development and foreign aid, tweeted a video of the first batch of mobile homes being sent to affected areas.
A Qatari official said: “The plans of the 2022 World Cup always intended for such temporary accommodations to be donated. However, in view of the urgent needs in Turkey and Syria, we have taken the decision to ship our cabins and caravans to the region, providing much needed and immediate support to the people of Turkey and Syria.”
– Guest house and holiday rental network, Gites de France, has relaunched its initiatives platform to collect funds for the people affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
All donations that will be collected will be given to a charity/humanitarian organisation called Secours populaire français which, with its local partners, supports the affected populations.
Donations can be given here.
Official associations and institutions
Other official associations and institutions that people can donate to in order to support those affected by the earthquakes include:
- Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal
- KIZILAY – Turkish Red Crescent
- AHBAP – Humanitarian Needs NGO
- AKUT – Search & Rescue NGO
- AFAD – Govt Disaster Management Org
The editorial team at IHM will continue to update and report on the news as it develops.