In a tweet Thursday night, CEO Brian Chesky said that Airbnb is stopping its business in Russia and Belarus.
A few days ago, Chesky said that “all options” were on the table when it came to responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This move comes in the same vein. Accommodation-sharing company: The first thing they did was offer to house up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. They’ve asked 14 countries for help. Belarus has been an ally of Russia in its military action on its own.
Data from market research firm AirDNA shows that Russia has more than 90,000 active short-term rentals on different platforms. Minsk, the capital of Belarus, has more than 1,800 short-term rentals. Chesky said earlier that sanctions from the U.S. and other countries had made it hard to do business in Russia.
A company called AirDNA says that Russia has more than 93,000 places to stay on Airbnb, and Belarus has almost 4,000 places to stay, too.
On Thursday, Airbnb waived fees for both hosts and renters in Ukraine. It made the decision after people started booking flights to Ukraine even though they didn’t want to go. This was a way to help people who were having a hard time during the invasion.
In Ukraine, there are more than 17,000 listings for short-term rentals. On Monday, Airbnb said that it would give free housing to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine. As of now, more than 260,000 people have visited a special web page where they can sign up to be a host or donate. The company says it has had a lot of support for the project.
Airbnb joins a rapidly increasing and extensive list of companies that are severing ties or pausing operations in Russia, including Ikea, the global recruitment company Hays, Apple, Netflix and all the major Hollywood studios, the retailers H&M, Marks & Spencer, Burberry, and Boohoo, and car manufacturers including Ford, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
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