Tampa residents book Airbnb rentals in Ukraine with no plans to stay

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Residents of the Tampa Bay area are jumping on a nationwide trend of supporting the Ukrainian people.

People all over the world have booked Airbnb rentals in Ukraine, but have no intention of staying. The idea is to send the money directly to the Ukrainian people.

Airbnb has announced that fees in Ukraine are waived, so the money goes directly to hosts in the country.

According to Airbnb, more than 61,000 nights have been booked in Ukraine and nearly $2 million has been raised for local hosts in Ukraine.

Tampa Bay area residents are getting involved and booking reservations to show their support from thousands of miles away.

“She answered and said hello Oytun, it’s very nice of you to support ordinary people in this way,” Oytun Tutuncu said, reading a response he received from a Ukrainian host.

Tutuncu is one of thousands of people who book vacations he has no intention of taking.

“Obviously there is a huge need and there is an immediate need for them to have money in their pockets,” Tutuncu said.

When he saw a social media post about people booking Airbnb rentals in Ukraine, he knew he had to make a reservation.

“Being a real estate investor and having Airbnb properties in Tampa, and being involved in Facebook groups and different social media channels, we saw a few people doing this and took inspiration from that,” he said. .

The first reservation quickly turned into several others.

“Combined with my friends, we must have booked over 40-45 days,” Tutuncu said.

Tutuncu messaged every host he booked with. Many respond to kindness from strangers thousands of miles away.

“Your support will not be forgotten. Hope to welcome you in the future, God bless you,” a host wrote to Tutuncu.

Once the war is over, Tutuncu hopes to book again.

“We told them that one day we would come to visit them and hope to spend some time there,” Tutuncu said.

The movement’s organizers also insist on researching before booking to ensure rentals are run by Ukrainian residents and not businesses.

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