Airbnb Cuts Ties with Russia and Belarus
With tensions between Russia and Ukraine still not coming to an end, more and more companies are piling the pressure. Be it for moral or business reasons, numerous companies have halted operations in Russia, dealing a significant financial blow. The latest company to join the group pulling out of the country is the home rental company Airbnb. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s co-founder and current CEO announced the move via Twitter earlier today.
Unfortunately, the home rental service hasn’t yet clarified what that means exactly. As the company deals with those offering their homes and those seeking accommodation, it can affect either of these two branches. As many countries have stopped flights to Russia, if Airbnb intends to prevent Russians from renting their homes, it might be inconsequential. After all, looking for accommodation in a country you can’t get to is not something many people do. There’s still some in-country travel to account for, but that’s not going to impact Airbnb’s bottom line meaningfully.
However, if Airbnb intends to prevent people from Russia from using the app entirely, that might have a more noticeable effect. Russia is a massive country, and if the app prevents its citizens from using its booking services, it might be a blow. Note that even then, we doubt that the consequences would be severe, but we might see a slight slide on shares.
On the community side, some people are using Airbnb to help Ukrainian home renters. Namely, there’s a small movement that’s using the application to rent homes that they don’t intend to stay in at all. They’re doing that as a way of directly donating to those in Ukraine that host tourists via the app. The donators have stated that they’re focusing on hard-hit areas and receiving heartfelt messages from hosts in return for them.
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