Airbnb properties in Ukraine are being booked by people who have no intention of visiting the war-torn country. At a time when Ukrainians are fleeing their homelands in the wake of the Russian invasion, thousands of people from around the world have found a unique way to help. By booking Airbnb rentals in Ukraine, people can send money directly to Ukrainians in need of financial assistance.
The idea of using home rental company Airbnb as a way to help residents of the war-torn country gained popularity after a Twitter user shared it on the microblogging platform. The user also shared snapshots of appreciative messages from Ukrainian Airbnb hosts, sent to people who booked their properties without intending to visit.
“Yesterday I shared an idea to support Ukraine by booking rooms for rent on Airbnb. 24 hours later, hundreds of people are booking AirBnBs in Ukraine as a way to immediately send monetary aid to people in hard-hit areas. hosts are so touching,” the Twitter user wrote.
Yesterday I shared an idea to support Ukraine by booking rooms for rent on AirBNB. 24 hours later, hundreds of people are booking AirBnBs in Ukraine as a way to provide immediate monetary assistance to people in hard-hit areas. The messages in response from the hosts are so moving pic.twitter.com/ai2Je8VKCt
— IG: @quentin.quarantino (@quentquarantino) March 3, 2022
Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, later revealed that more than 61,000 nights had been booked on Airbnb by people from around the world between March 2 and March 3. The bookings translated into $1.9 million going directly to Ukrainians in need.
In 48 hours, 61,406 nights were booked in Ukraine. That’s $1.9 million going to Hosts in Need
What a great idea from our community. Thanks https://t.co/MEitgKB5Eo
— Brian Chesky ???????? (@bchesky) March 4, 2022
Airbnb has also confirmed that it will waive all service charges in Ukraine. “We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this time of crisis,” a company spokesperson told DailyExpertNews.
We can confirm that we waive all guest and host fees for all bookings in Ukraine at this time. https://t.co/WCQEFGIlXC
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) March 3, 2022
Sarah Brown, an Airbnb host in Utah, was one of hundreds of Americans who booked Airbnb accommodations in Ukraine. “It’s a way of giving money and giving it directly to the person right now,” she told Today. “Can’t wait to do it again.”
My dear friend just shared a creative way to give Ukrainians financial support right now. She booked a stay in an Airbnb in Kiev (told the hostess she wasn’t coming, but wanted to help), and the hostess was so grateful. Our small deeds can mean a lot. ???????? pic.twitter.com/etUZFyFi5b
— Dr. Sarah VanSlette (@sarahvanslette) March 2, 2022
While making the booking, Ms. Brown sent a message to her host in Ukraine, explaining that she would not come in person, but “wanted to send some love”.
“Thank you so much for your support and everything you do for us,” replied the host. “It matters and it helps us survive these most difficult days. It gives us strength and motivation. We remain in Kiev, hoping and believing in our victory soon.”
Other Twitter users also shared messages they received from Airbnb hosts in Ukraine after booking their rental. British journalist Emily Maitlis noted that Airbnb had waived their commission on all bookings in Ukraine.
Friend just booked an Airbnb apartment in Kiev (which he clearly will never go to) because Airbnb rejected their commission. There are many different ways to help/donate, but this is one more #kiev#Ukrainepic.twitter.com/P4v7ptsj3w
— emily m (@maitlis) March 4, 2022
On Thursday, Airbnb’s CEO also announced that the company is suspending all activities in Russia and Belarus due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
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