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Airbnb Guests Book Rooms in Ukraine to Help Out Hard-Hit Hosts

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(Bloomberg) — Airbnb Inc. said it accepted almost $2 million in bookings in Ukraine from people who have no intention of staying in the accommodation and just want to get money into the hands of the war-torn citizens there.

Displaced Ukrainians disembark a train from Kharkiv at the Lviv-Holovnyi railway station in Lviv, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 3, 2022. More than a million refugees are fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations.© Bloomberg Displaced Ukrainians disembark a train from Kharkiv at the Lviv-Holovnyi railway station in Lviv, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 3, 2022. More than a million refugees are fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations.

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Some 61,000 nights were booked in Ukraine on March 2-3, according to a tweet by Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky. Users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada accounted for nearly three-quarters of total reservations, the San Francisco-based company said in an email, adding that it has temporarily waived guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine.

Airbnb said earlier this week it was offering free short-term housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the Russian invasion and it will work with neighboring European states to provide long-term stays. Ukraine has more than 17,000 short-term rentals, according to data provided by market research firm AirDNA.

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