Some of the money being donated to Airbnb hosts, by making bookings in Ukraine that Americans don’t intend to use, may actually be going to professional real estate investors including companies headquartered in Russia.
That’s the point Dennis Schaal makes about the effort many have been undertaking to get support directly in the hands of Ukranians.
When this first began I worried,
- That bookings could crowd out Ukranians fleeing their homes desperately needing a place to stay, emphasizing how important it was to let hosts know you’re not using the home and that they should re-list it elsewhere.
- That there’d now be fake Ukranian listings added to the site, so check that there’s a deep history of reviews for the host’s property your considering booking. Some of the scammers may be Russian.
- That this wasn’t the most effective form of charity, not clearly going to the people most in need, and suggested and effort to help get supplies to Ukranian refugees.
In 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine. That's $1.9M going to Hosts in need
Such a cool idea from our community. Thank you https://t.co/MEitgKB5Eo
— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) March 4, 2022
Airbnb shows the first name of a property’s host, but you have to click through further to see the number of properties they’re listing. If it’s 10, 20, 30 or more that may not be an individual owner. In the U.S. I found owners of several Marriott hotels listing their rooms through the platform.
I’m not against this effort at all – just consider focusing any giving you do on hosts with individual listings and numerous reviews (though that alone isn’t a guarantee against scams) and consider not making this your only charitable effort.