The CEO of Airbnb announced the company plans to pay hosts 25 percent of the total losses from cancellations caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky released a statement Monday discussing the company’s decision to issue full refunds to travelers who canceled their bookings as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
“Please know this decision was not a business decision, but based on protecting public health,” Chesky said.
While Airbnb officials still believe they acted appropriately offering refunds due to travel restrictions, many hosts felt blindsided by the decision and questioned why the company did not consult them.
“However, while I believe we did the right thing in prioritizing health and safety, I’m sorry that we communicated this decision to guests without consulting you, like partners should,” Chesky continued. “We have heard from you and we know we could have been better partners.”
As a result, Airbnb will pay hosts 25 percent of the losses associated with cancellations on bookings between March 14 and May 31. The company estimates payouts to eligible hosts would total around $250 million.
In addition, Chesky announced the creation of a fund to help what Airbnb calls “Superhosts” who are having trouble paying rent or mortgage during the viral outbreak.
Last week, Airbnb officials also revealed the company would offer them free or subsidized housing to health care professionals, emergency workers and relief personnel. Not only will this move allow medical workers to live closer to work, but it will also enable medical workers to isolate themselves from family and roommates after working closely with infected patients.
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