Global Marketing

Airbnb Provides Free Shelter to Refugees

As Ukrainians flee their home country, Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, called for people to open their homes in Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania. Chesky wanted Airbnb to utilize its network of renters and homes to offer short-term stays to refugees seeking shelter as they flee. These efforts were funded through a special refugee donation fund and from hosts on the platform that was open and willing to support and provide shelter. As the Russian invasion escalates, more than 500,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered neighboring countries over the past week with many of them not having anywhere to go.

As of today, Airbnb has announced that they will house up to 100,000 refugees while also working closely with the government to support the specific needs of countries which may include longer-term stays. If you do not have a rental unit available or extra space in the house, people can also help Airbnb’s efforts by donating to the funds to help cover the costs of the temporary shelter that they are offering. With extra effort from nonprofits in local areas, a massive effort is underway to book and coordinate stays for refugees. Additionally, Airbnb also provided links to refugees who need immediate assistance like places for food and shelter. 

From a global branding perspective, we thought Airbnb’s actions were heroic because they are providing safety for refugees and a place for shelter when they need it the most. As a result of leveraging their resources and platform, they increased their strength and branding recognition worldwide because people can recall that Airbnb is taking a stance and helping refugees gain shelter and resources. Not only are the free refugee shelters good for the people seeking shelter but it is also good for Airbnb’s branding. This also shows the ability for corporations to step up and release new programs when needed. Many people from around the world can recall that Airbnb provided free shelter in times of need which increases their recognition globally. These people can also help join Airbnb’s movement by calling others to help if they have available room in Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania but also helping by providing funds needed to fuel the temporary housing. We thought it was important that Airbnb is not only providing shelter but are also doing it for free, so the refugees do not have to worry about payment and could have a slight peace of mind when they find the shelter during the crisis. Airbnb is doing what they do best, proving homestays and lodging, while also helping others seek needed shelter and simultaneously increasing their global branding with their efforts.