When the war in Ukraine had begun and its inhabitants started to flee to Poland on a massive scale, hotels and other accommodation places reacted immediately. The initiative to help Ukrainian refugees connects an increasing number of Polish accommodation facilities from day one. Each type of support counts – providing shelter and meals, assistance in transport, as well as financial assistance, collecting the most necessities, or offering work to people from Ukraine. In the first days of the crisis abroad, the hotel industry had risen to the occasion and those who decided to help did so without much of a thought.
Immediately after the Russian attack on Ukraine, we started a series of talks with our hotel Partners, hoteliers, and experts in the field of refugee’s assistance.
Due to the rapid development of events and changing circumstances, we wanted to identify the most important needs that our Partners in the hospitality industry signaled to us. Despite many aid measures, there are still problems that make the situation significantly more complex. To name the one that pops out most frequently, it’s communication. Language barriers still exist and the speed, as well as efficiency of information transfer is way below optimal.”
says Tomasz Wacławski, Global Sales & Partnerships Director at SmartHotel.
We have found a space where we could also bring help and support. This space is communication. In response to the needs of hotels, apartments, and other accommodation facilities that sheltered refugees from Ukraine, we have created SmartChat. It is an intelligent, modern, and simple tool that simplifies communication between facilities providing shelter and people from Ukraine who are in Poland and need to communicate in their mother language. SmartChat has many features that help both hotels and Ukrainian Guests. However, the most important in this situation is the fact that we give SmartChat for free to hotels, apartments, and other accommodation facilities that host Ukrainian residents.
It is important for a foreign visitor that they do not need to install any special application. To use SmartChat, all you need to do is scan the QR code, which you can find at the reception desk in the place where you are staying at and you can start activities and communication with the facility immediately in Ukrainian, Polish and English. Using SmartChat, a Ukrainian Guest can register at the hotel – without engaging in a conversation with a receptionist. He can read information about the place and rules of his stay, local offices, shops, public transport, medical care, etc. The Ukrainian Guest can freely communicate with the hotel – report needs and ask questions in his native language because SmartChat translates everything on the fly - Polish, Ukrainian and English or any other language, it doesn’t really matter since SmartChat handles translation in all languages. Visitors use SmartChat on their phones – are able to use either WhatsApp or the website if they prefer.
From the hosting entity side, i.e. a hotel, apartment, or another place that provides accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, SmartChat offers many opportunities to simplify and improve work, and most importantly – save working time and the involvement of reception staff.
Thanks to SmartChat, the hotel can quickly register Ukrainian Guests without any additional overhead normally passed onto Reception Desk staff members. The hotel can also provide Ukrainian Guests with personalized information about the facility, the rules of their stay, and the nearby places – this information can be freely edited and updated by the hotel as needed. Conversations with Guests are being translated automatically into Polish, Ukrainian, and English, and the communication platform itself can be used via website, but also as a mobile application version that can be downloaded by every hotel employee.
In the face of the war in Ukraine and the enormous commitment to help Ukrainian residents by the hospitality industry in Poland, we have created SmartChat specifically to facilitate the work and assistance activities of our partners in the industry. We also want to make it easier for Ukrainian residents to stay in Polish hotels and apartments. We offer SmartChat to all facilities that provide shelter to Ukrainian refugees for free. As a SmartHotel team, we also offer assistance in implementing the tool and cooperation in its development.
Any facility that would like to use the free SmartChat tool can apply for it via a specially prepared website of our campaign: https://komunikacjabezgranic.pl/. Also, Ukrainian guests can register via https://komunikacjabezgranic.pl/ for SmartChat for a hotel or other place where they are staying at.
Feel free to contact us, let the communication be #Smart from now on!