Airbnb to invest US$250 million to support hosts amid COVID-19 crisis

 Wednesday, April 1, 2020 


Airbnb’s co-founder, CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky recently decided to take necessary actions to support Airbnb hosts as they battle through the COVID-19. He also provided an update on Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. The company has declared that it will invest US$250 million to help the hosts cover the costs of cancellations caused due to coronavirus.



According to the latest updates, if any guest with a due check-in between March 14 and May 31, 2020, cancel an accommodation reservation due to any coronavirus related issue, Airbnb will pay hosts 25% of what they will normally receive through the cancellation policy. This rule would apply retroactively to all COVID-19 related cancellations during this period. This cost will be covered entirely by Airbnb. These payments will begin to be issued in April. Guests with reservations booked on or before March 14 will still be able to cancel and receive a standard refund or travel credit equivalent for 100% of what they paid.



In addition, the company has also decided to create US$10 million ‘Superhost Relief Fund’. This special fund is designed for long-tenured experience hosts trying to make ends meet as well as Superhosts who rent out their own homes and need help paying their rent or mortgage. This particular fund was started by Airbnb employees themselves. They donated US$1 million from their own pocket to help create the fund. They were further supported by Joe, Nate, and Brian, the three founders of the company. The founders together contributed the remaining US$9 million. Hosts can begin to apply for grants from this month up to US$5,000 without any payback requirement.



Airbnb has also received feedback regarding host support from numerous guests who are grateful for the flexibility of Airbnb hosts. Many such guests are interested to provide financial support to hosts. With this facility, Airbnb enables previous guests to send financial help to their hosts. Airbnb is also creating a way for guests to send a note along with their contribution. This facility is also expected to go live this month.


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