Hotels, hostels and Airbnbs sign up to host Ukrainian refugees

By a new report from The Associated Press, more than 520,000 refugees have fled Ukraine to the eastern border of the European Union. In an interview with the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said that number “has grown exponentially, hour by hour” and will likely reach 4 million in the next weeks.

In an effort to provide assistance, hotels and hostels with open beds have started listing their properties on a new online directory launched by marketing agency Stay the Night in conjunction with BudgetTraveller’s Kash Bhattacharya, according to a report. of Skift. The main objective of the site, called Hospitality for Ukraine, is to share all relevant organizations involved in helping refugees on the ground.

“Seeing the crisis unfolding in Ukraine right now, it’s easy to feel helpless,” said Stay the Night co-founder and CEO Rosie Willan. “But there is action we can take together as an industry. This campaign goes to the heart of what hospitality is – welcoming people.

Similarly, it was announced on Monday that Airbnb and will also offer free short-term housing to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and president Joe Gebbia and Airbnb chief strategy officer and co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk reportedly sent letters to leaders across Europe, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania. — offer support for the reception of refugees within their borders.

“As is committed to facilitating short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, it will work closely with governments to best meet each country’s specific needs, including by offering longer term stays,” the statement said. noting that as a company, they have connected over 54,000 refugees and asylum seekers to temporary housing through partners over the past five years.

While further details of Airbnb’s plan to host refugees have yet to be released, the statement also highlights that anyone in need of immediate support can find resources through the UN agency. for the refugees in the meantime.

The effort, as Sean O’Neill points out, is not all that different from those in the early days of the pandemic when campaigns like Hospitality Helps helped raise an additional 1.2 million beds for emergency workers and on the front line, thanks to hotel companies.