Industry Update
Press Release15 April 2020

The Student Hotel Provides Refuge, Virtual Education and Entertainment, to Residents Stranded Across Europe by Covid-19

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The Student Hotel

Amsterdam -- The Student Hotel, has kept all its locations across Europe open since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic providing a safe haven for students and others guests stranded and unable to get home, or choosing not to return to their own countries, as well as health workers and others, TSH founder and CEO Charlie MacGregor said in an online operational update video interview.


"We're going to be open until we don't have any customers. And then to be honest, we expect not to close. We've reached out to embassies, we've reached out to NGOs, to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross in some cities. We've reached out to the army, local hospitals, of course, doctors and nurses, providing accommodation for them. We've been able to really utilise the fact that we have resident guests, so we're not going to close for them, they've got nowhere to go," Charlie MacGregor said.

"We've been able to provide accommodation to people who have been kicked out of other hotels and we're trying to help this situation in any way we can, because it's a time when everybody's stepping up," he added.

The Student Hotel has a total of 14 operating locations across six European countries including The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy and France, with more than 5,000 rooms. Although occupation numbers are fluctuating considerably day-to-day due to varying local pandemic conditions, MacGregor said there were between 400 to 25 residents staying at TSH locations in European countries in the week before Easter.

He emphasised that safety is the number one priority for TSH personnel and guests, with the company putting screens into its receptions, instigating extra sanitizing of all touchpoints, such as lift buttons and door handles, and enforcing deep cleaning of rooms and communal areas. All restaurants have been closed, but TSH still provides breakfast bags at designated pickup tables, or drops these off outside people's bedrooms.

"One of our main roles for all of our guests is in really providing a listening ear. They are in lockdown in quite small spaces, but social distancing is still important even in the hotels. So, all the activities we normally do in our common spaces, we're now doing on our online platform," he said.

Each TSH hotel has 'connectors' who organise community events and this platform has been taken online and greatly extended from local locations across Europe.

"We have language lessons, cooking workshops, mindfulness sessions and stress relieving clinics. We've got keep-fit sessions and parties with DJs holding mini virtual nightclubs. We've had hundreds and hundreds of people signing up to over-capacity on the online sessions. Everything we did offline we're now doing online, which for us as a company is also really interesting, because it's given us the opportunity to test these virtual and online tools and really see that they can work," MacGregor concluded.

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