‘This gives me faith in humanity’: Ukrainian Airbnb hosts respond as thousands make bookings they won’t use

Airbnb says over 60,000 bookings have been made in the past 48 hours

Laura Hampson
Sunday 06 March 2022 10:21 GMT
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An Instagram influencer has revealed the responses from Ukrainian Airbnb hosts whose homes are being booked by people all over the world in order to get money to them directly.

Tommy Marcus, 26, from New York, runs the Quentin Quarantino page on social media and encouraged his followers to start making Airbnb bookings in Ukraine earlier this week.

Now, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky has tweeted that, in the space of 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine. “That’s $1.9million (£1.4 million) going to Hosts in need,” he added.

Yesterday Marcus shared the “moving” responses from some of the hosts in Ukraine.

“You have no idea how valuable it is now,” one host wrote in response to a booking. “We are all stopped. I’m with two children three and six years old hiding in the Kyiv region. We have a cellar with me, another family with a girl of six years old, and an old woman.”

Another host wrote: “Thank you so much for this. Our life and home has been ripped right from us. Now we are refugees and I don’t know when this nightmare will end. It’s actions like yours that help me have faith in humanity.”

In the caption on Instagram, Marcus wrote: “Each of these is just one small act of kindness, but look at the impact it’s having. I’ve been sent so many of these screenshots it was hard to pick which ones to put in here. Just amazing.⁣⁣”

He included some tips for people looking to do the same thing. “If you want to do this too, try to pick small apartments/rooms for rent in cities that have been hit hard by bombing,” Marcus added.

“Book the rooms for as close a date as possible, as the payment goes through once the booking date occurs. Also make sure to tell the host you will not be coming. ⁣Please note that Airbnb is not charging fees in Ukraine.”

A spokesperson for Airbnb told PA: “We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis. Airbnb is temporarily waiving guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine at this time.

“We also encourage anyone interested in getting involved with Airbnb to go to airbnb.org/help-ukraine, and support Airbnb’s initiative to provide housing to refugees fleeing Ukraine, by becoming a host or donating. To date, we have seen an overwhelming response to this effort, with more than 357,000 visitors to this page.”

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