At a time when Ukrainians are fleeing their country in the wake of the full-blown war between Russia and Ukraine continuing for the past 10 days and countries are evacuating their nationals stranded in the war-torn country, Ukrainian spaces listed on Airbnb are seeing a surge of bookings. These guests do not plan to show up at the spaces they have booked; they are only trying to help Ukraine, US media reports said, claiming that most of these bookings are from America.
According to a CNN report, quoting an Airbnb spokesperson, on March 2 and March 3, guests from around the world booked more than 61,000 nights in Ukraine.
“I hope that you, and your lovely apartment, are safe and that this horrible war is over … and Ukraine is safe…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,” a message attached to a booking read.
“We will be glad to see you in the peaceful city of Kyiv and hug,” the host replied.
This social media campaign to channel money to Ukraine has become popular overnight after Airbnb hosts from other countries started booking Ukraine Airbnb spaces and messaged their hosts that this is only to help.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the campaign got a leg-up when Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky retweeted one of the messages. According to figures released by Airbnb on Friday, guests from the US had booked 34,000 nights, UK guests accounted for 8,000 nights, and Canadians had booked nearly 3,000 and all of these generated &1.9 million. The company said it has waived all its service fees for bookings.
Airbnb, the US company that operates as an online marketplace for homestays, pays the host after the check-in date irrespective of whether the guests check in or not. Hence, the social media campaigners are now urging people to book Ukrainian Airbnb spaces quickly so that Ukrainian hosts get money soon.