Ivan Liptuga, head of the National Tourism Organization of Ukraine, and member of the World Tourism Network wants the Tourism to scream out and not be quiet about what is happening in his home country.
WTN Chairman Juergen Steinmetz said, today all of us in the travel and tourism industry should be Ukrainians.
Ivan is the face now of Ukraine Tourism in Crisis and joined the World Tourism Network and SKAL video Q&A with Burchin Turkkan, President of SKAL Internationa, and Frank Tacu Buch, head of SKAL International Bucharest, Romania. SKAL Romania had been active and is leading the SKAL initiative to help Ukrainian Refugees. He said he really feels how important it is to do belong to SKAL and its concept of tourism industry of friends working together.
It’s the first initiative by a global tourism organization by SKAL International Romania that will show this active engagement of friendship and kindness SKAL stands for is urgently needed action: Taking care of many refugees from Ukraine.
It’s the first initiative by a global tourism organization SKAL that will show this active engagement of friendship and kindness in taking care of many refugees from Ukraine.
The hosts for the third World Tourism Network event in Ukraine were chairman Juergen Steinmetz, and president Dr. Peter Tarlow.
TRANSCRIPT: Ivan Liptuga, the Face of Ukraine Tourism opened this meeting with his moving words from Odesa, Ukraine.
Thank you for the invitation, good evening, good afternoon, and good morning to all participants of today’s event. Yes, I’m currently in Odessa. This is the city on the Black Sea, in the south of Ukraine.
More or less it is a calm situation when compared with the northern cities with Kyiv with Kharkiv.
They are being bombed for the last several days and nights time. From time to time here in Odessa we have just shells coming after air alarms.
We run to the basements sometimes, but compared with other cities it’s ok.
However, more generally the situation in Ukraine is terrible. Probably all of you know it from all news.
We already have more than two million refugees.
Two million people left Ukraine. 1.2 million to Poland. 190,000 to Hungary, 140000 to Slovakia, 83,000 to Moldova and to Romania, and about 99000 to Russia as well.
And people that are leaving are our women and children. All men have to be here in all these days.
We can see now how United Ukraine became. It’s unbelievable.
But in these two weeks, this war did something which we couldn’t reach for the last 30 years of our independence.
Our country became like one big family. And it’s actually the birth of a nation, I would say.
Before this, even when we had all these revolutions and Maidan, we had a split of people into two points of view.
But now when this invasion happened, nobody believed until the last moment that it can be.
Even when we heard from the news and when the United States and the U.K. told us that Russia is going to invade us, we didn’t believe we.
We couldn’t even imagine that it can’t happen.
But now, for two weeks, we live in this reality here in the middle of Europe and every day and every night we wait for another rockets and explosions and thousands of people die of already thousands of militaries and civilians, children, women and what happens on the north?
It’s unbelievable in the city, so productive how it looks now and tyranny of the ancient city of Kyiv. Cruise with churches, with cultural sightseeing, it’s all around destroying.
It’s unbelievable. So yeah, we had already several meetings.
Of course, the tourism industry is not something that can help in this situation because it’s a military conflict and it’s a real war.
But on all levels, every from Ukraine tried to attract the attention of partners and companies to not to be found, not to stay aside from this situation, and to do something to influence Russian people because Russian people are blind.
They don’t hear.
They listen only to their TV. In Russia, hundreds of companies left the market.
I don’t know. I will not call you the brands, but it seems to me 100 percent of all international brands already left the country or closed or blocked or suspended their operations there.
And YouTube, Facebook, TikTok. All social media is already limited or closed their services in Russia, so they get information only from their propaganda channels.
They continue for weeks to say that they have this demilitarization and de-Nazification operation.
And for two weeks, they cannot reach any big city.
They because they expected to do it just in a few hours, and they were talking about this for a few months.
We were all laughing about this, but it was really true their vision that they will reach Kyiv just in eight hours of the first day of the operation.
And now, for two weeks, more than 12000 soldiers from the Russian Army were killed here. They don’t report it in their Russian channels. Of course, they say that about 400 people only.
And many, of course, are injured and from outside as well, and civilians are dying.
So the only way I’ll know is for the world tourism industry is to scream and to stand firm in their support for us.
I don’t know what kind of sanctions may help in this situation more than they have now already.
Now, now we need most to close the sky above us because we can be protected if it wasn’t for the rockets that are falling like rain all over the country. And they beat not only military bases as they promised, but they also beat on supermarkets, on cinemas, on no civilian houses, in the private sector and just big cities, and so on.
So I just want to thank World Tourism Network and SKAL for your invitation, for affection and other attention to us, to what we have here.
We’re open. We have now many volunteers. We have now many foundations that are helping. We have already humanitarian problems with food, medicines, with many other things in the cities, especially those who were partially occupied