In many European countries, asylum seekers are excluded from the labour market. Asylum proceedings often take a long time before authorities reach a decision, with those involved condemned to doing nothing. There are obvious financial implications to this exclusion but the problem goes much further. Exclusion from work also leads to a diminished capacity, as people are unable to practise their skills, and levels of self-confidence decrease as the problem continues.
Hotel Vision is an innovative project from Caritas Vienna to tackle labour market exclusion. As a social enterprise hotel run by refugees and experienced hotel staff, Hotel Vision offers a smart, urban and multicultural “home” with a social value to guests from around the world.
Hotel Vision will open mid-2014 in a former Caritas Vienna care home with 100 rooms, ranging in price from €60 for a single room to €90 for apartments and suites. The hotel will be equipped with a bar/lounge, garden, home-cinema, library and many other services and features, thus creating a lively place for guests. Located near the famous theme park Prater – close to the city center – the place is also easy accessible by public transport services. The hotel will be furnished in an upcycling project by architects and designers.
The integration of refugees of different nationalities in the hotel not only addresses the lack of opportunity for refugees in the Austrian labour market but also brings together a range of people with different skills and talents whose cultural diversity strengthens the hotel.
If successful, the concept can be transferred via social franchising to other European cites allowing refugees all over Europe to find employment in their new home country. Hotel Vision will be run by Caritas Services GmbH - the social enterprise subsidiary of Caritas Vienna.
The project is managed in cooperation with global players in the tourism industry, such as JJW Hotels, PKF Hotel consultants and NGOs that mentor refugees. This network guarantees a professional structure for future operations. Karim F. Jalloul (Owner‘s Representative of JJW Hotels & Resorts) says: "This project creates a win-win situation for refugees and the hotel industry."
Founded in 2012, Caritas Services aims to develop and operate social enterprises with a focus on the employment of those discriminated from the labour market such as the longterm unemployed, migrants, handicapped peopel and refugees.