• Thursday, October 06, 2022

EUROPE

OYO to offer free accommodation to Ukraine refugees

OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

INDIA’S hospitality technology platform OYO on Tuesday (22) said it will offer free accommodation to refugees fleeing Ukraine.

Starting with Poland, the company has initiated efforts to appeal to its 600-plus Belvilla homeowners on its platform in Poland to open their holiday homes to refugees.

“These stays will be free for refugees who cannot pay for them, and the costs will be borne by the company and its homeowners, who volunteer to host refugees. The company will support administratively, and help cover operational expenses incurred by the homeowners,” OYO said in a statement.

OYO founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal said, “We are deeply inspired by our homeowners who are opening their homes and hearts to people in dire need. We are committed to supporting them and driving this effort in every way we can. We will continue to explore every avenue to ensure all possible support for refugees in European countries”.

He said the company is also in conversation with multiple organisations locally to ensure that refugees are matched with available accommodation in the region.

“At OYO, we are also channelling resources to help raise funds for NGOs, who are at the forefront of this crisis,” Agarwal said.

The hospitality platform said it is also encouraging not only homeowners in Poland but also those in other European countries to open up their homes.

Women and children who have fled war-torn Ukraine pass the time in a shelter set up in a primary school close to the Ukrainian border on March 21, 2022 in Przemysl, Poland. Nearly two-thirds of the more than 3 million people to have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion last month have come to Poland, which shares a 310-mile border with its eastern neighbor. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)


It is also in conversation with non-profit organisations for partnering to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing Ukraine are matched with available housing facilities.

OYO said it has also launched a fundraising campaign, encouraging its employees and the public at large for voluntary donations. The funds will go back to homeowners, opening up their homes to refugees and non-profit organisations aiding in housing the refugees.

The company has thousands of homes on its platform across Europe. OYO’s European business of vacation homes, through its subsidiary OYO Vacation Homes, (OVH) operates multiple brands – Belvilla by OYO, DanCenter and Traum-Ferienwohnungen.

There are growing concerns over the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the ensuing humanitarian crisis due to the Russian invasion.

(PTI)

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