Lodging giant Airbnb has announced it has set aside US$250 million to help its hosts faced with continuous cancelled bookings. When a guest cancels an accommodation booking due to a “COVID-19 related circumstance” on dates between March 14 and May 31, they will be refunded in full and a host will be paid 25% of their usual cancellation fee by Airbnb.
Airbnb will start sending out these payments from this month, acknowledging the paralysing impact movement restrictions and travel bans have on an Airbnb hosts’ business. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky spent a letter directly to all Airbnb hosts around the world, saying: “Although it may not have felt like it, we are partners. When your business suffers, our business suffers. We know that right now many of you are struggling, and what you need are actions from us to help, not just words.”
For Airbnb superhosts, those acknowledged for high-quality service consistently, a $10 million relief fund has been setup for those dependent on Airbnb bookings. Hosts can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help cover lost income from the current crisis.Chesky concluded: “Trust is the foundation of a partnership, and it is built over time. We know that we have some work to do in strengthening yours, but it’s our priority and we are committed to it. When travel comes back—and it will—we look forward to welcoming millions of guests together again.”