Airbnb Users Support Ukrainians by Booking Stays They Don’t Plan To Use
Airbnb users around the world are helping Ukraine residents affected by the Russian invasion by booking stays in the country despite not having any plans to visit.
The influx of bookings is part of a new campaign that calls on guests to rent out places in the capital of Kyiv and other surrounding cities to provide financial assistance to the besieged locals. The campaign recently picked up steam on social media, which resulted in over 61,000 bookings in a span of two days, according to an Airbnb spokesperson.
The San Francisco-based rental company announced that it has waived its guest and hosting fees for bookings in Ukraine. So far, the campaign has raised over US$2 million for the country’s residents.
Outside of financial assistance, some users also left messages of support in the comments sections of the listings, as spotted by CNN.
"I hope that you, and your lovely apartment, are safe and that this horrible war is over ... and Ukraine is safe," wrote Anne Margaret Daniel, a resident of New York City. "I will come and see you one day, please count on it, and will stay with you when we visit. God bless you and God be with you, your city, your country."
Airbnb additionally announced that it would be providing temporary housing in neighbouring countries for Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the war. CEO Brian Chesky said in late-February said they were working with hosts in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania to open their homes to up to 100,000 Ukrainians.
Chesky also announced that Airbnb would halt all operations in Russia and Belarus, joining a growing list of private companies that are complying with Western sanctions.
Over the weekend, streaming giant Netflix announced that it would be shutting down services in Russia after initially saying that it would only halt productions and acquisitions from the country. Game publishers Activision Bllizard and Epic Games, meanwhile, similarly suspended all transactions of games and other products. PayPal also paused all services in Russia and stopped accepting new Russian users. MasterCard and Visa announced that they would be doing the same.
Airbnb users around the world are donating money to Ukraine residents affected by the war by booking stays in the country they don't plan to use.
This resulted in over 61,000 bookings in a span of two days, raising about US$2 million, a spokesperson for the company said.
Airbnb also announced that it would be halting all operations in Russia and Belarus in response to the invasion.