How the Travel Industry is Stepping Up to Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic

travel industry helping during covid19

These are challenging times in the travel industry. Flights have been shut down, airlines need major cash infusions, hotels are empty, tourism campaigns have been canceled, and no one knows when it will all end.

With that being said, some companies have risen to the challenge and acted in positive ways throughout this crisis, in an attempt to do good even when things like surviving as a business are uncertain. Here are a few of the companies putting people first.

1. Airbnb

The company has given a decent amount of leeway to people who had trips booked in the coming month, which hasn’t made hosts happy – but in our opinion, it was the right thing to do. On top of that, the company is looking to help provide those responding to the pandemic with safe housing options. Airbnb is committed to providing 100,000 healthcare professionals with safe places to stay as they respond to challenges around the world.

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” says Airbnb’s co-founder Joe Gebbia. “We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our non-profit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.”

2. Hotels for Helpers

We’re proud to see websites like Hotels for Helpers pop up in the Netherlands. This is a website that helps:

  • Healthcare professionals (nurses, doctors, paramedics etc.) who are deployed in locations other than their usual place of work
  • Family members of healthcare professionals who want to be closer to their loved ones
  • Family members of patients who have been relocated to hospitals outside their own region

Prices for rooms on the website are capped at €25 per room per night. We’d love to see more websites like this pop up around the world.


The company paused all ad campaigns and decided to put money into spreading a simple message: keep your distance. We love seeing brands recognize that this moment, while challenging for their business, is not about them. It’s about making sure the spread of COVID-19 is limited as much as possible to save lives.

4. Best Western UK

CEO Rob Paterson has been in touch with all of his 260 independently owned and operated franchises throughout the UK to see if they can offer support to the UK National Health Service. They’re offering 15,000 hotel bedrooms and over 1,000 meeting rooms to help the NHS and local authorities through the Coronavirus crisis.

5. Air Canada

The company announced this week that they’d be donating all of the food that was prepared for their flights to those in need during this difficult time. The airline is working with the Canadian food rescue organization Second Harvest’s to make sure that fresh food is not wasted and finds a home.

“While so many of us are staying home during these extraordinary times, we also remain united in taking care of each other,” says Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer at Air Canada. “These difficult moments remind us of the importance of continuing to support our communities and help Canadian families in need. Since we work with catering facilities across Canada, the network that Second Harvest offers through their national platform enables us collectively to get these ready-to-eat food items to those who need it most as quickly as possible.”
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