Technology

Thousands booking Airbnbs in Ukraine as means of getting money directly to the people

Thousands of people have booked Airbnbs in Ukraine without plans to travel there as a way to get money directly to Ukrainians.

The initiative, which gained popularity via social media, boasted $1.9 million in its first 48 hours, according to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

“In 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter.

A number of donors took to Twitter to share their interactions with Ukrainian Airbnb hosts. 

“It’s very important to know now that there is support,” said one host. “We have some kind of horror.”

Another called it a “hard and terrible time in Ukraine.”

“This is what our family needs right now,” another Ukrainian wrote.

In support of the initiative, Airbnb is waiving booking fees in Ukraine.

“We can confirm we are waiving all guest and Host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time,” Airbnb stated.

Several Ukrainians said they were brought to tears by the donations, and many said they would use the money to house refugees.

The wave of bookings follows an announcement from Chesky Monday that Airbnb aims to house over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees for free.

“With more Hosts, we can house more refugees,” Chesky wrote. “If you live in Germany, Poland, Romania, Hungary, France, UK, Italy, Netherlands … anywhere a refugee may be, you can help by opening your home.”

Airbnb previously housed tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in a similar initiative.

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