People from all over the world have started booking Airbnbs in Ukraine. They obviously have no intention of actually visiting the country any time soon, but they are trying to help the Ukrainians that, for different reasons, were unable to leave their homes.
Twitter users are sharing the hosts’ responses and they are heart-warming, for example, one apartment owner in Kyiv said: “The world is not without good people. Now I have tears in my eyes and I cry with happiness in the first of these terrible days. Thank you very much. I will be happy to hug you when we meet in peacetime❤️”.
Airbnb lists about 300 properties around Ukraine and has already shown support to the people leaving the country, offering 100,000 places, for free, to refugees. Now, to further support this movement, the platform has dropped all the booking fees, which usually are between 3% and 15%. This way, the entire proceedings can go directly to the hosts who need them.
However, people should be very careful when booking an apartment and make sure the money goes to the right persons, as fake locations could be set up by other individuals who want to profit from the Ukrainians’ misfortune.
We appreciate the generosity of our community during this moment of crisis. Airbnb is also waiving all guest and host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time.Airbnb spokesperson
Moreover, CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky has announced the company is assessing whether or not to continue its business relation with Russia. “We don’t have a large business in Russia. It is not one of our major markets. We are absolutely revisiting our relationship [regarding] business in Russia”, Chesky told CNN.
In a global humanitarian crisis like this I think everyone should ask the question: how can we help. The way Airbnb can help is we provide housing for millions of people every night all over the world. If you want to take in a refugee family, we are going to work with resettlement partners.Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and co-founder
Chesky added that over the past ten years, the company, in collaboration with the hosts, has been able to provide free housing to 54,000 refugees globally, especially after last years’ Afghan crisis. He also added that he and the other co-founders will be making donations from their personal earnings to aid the Ukrainians in need. It is not the first time he does a gesture like this, having given $100m, in stock, to an endowment fund set up to help Airbnb hosts during the pandemic.