Airbnb CEO pledges to temporarily house 20,000 Afghan refugees: ‘We can help’

Airbnb CEO: As the world changes, we will adapt

Brian Chesky joins ‘The Claman Countdown’ to discuss the future of travel and Airbnb’s ever-changing business model.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky confirmed on "The Claman Countdown" Tuesday that the company pledges to put up 20,000 Afghan refugees in short-term housing to accommodate their escape from the Taliban takeover.

Chesky explained the idea sprouted from first housing people who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy nearly a decade ago which turned into the beginning of Airbnb housing refugees a few years ago.

"Over the last decade, we’ve housed about 100,000 people for free," he said. "So we had already been doing this for about a decade… It occurred to us that this might be one of the great humanitarian crises of our time and so at that point we thought, we can step up. We can help."

Currently, Airbnb has housed about 700 Afghan refugees but Chesky believes the 20,000 benchmark will be reached if not surpassed.

AIRBNB COVERING HOUSING FOR 20,000 AFGHAN REFUGEES AROUND THE WORLD

The lodging app announced its commitment to house refugees last month and will be mostly funded through contributions to Airbnb.org and by Chesky himself. 

Airbnb exec on offering housing to 20K Afghan refugees

Airbnb Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Director Christopher Nulty discusses helping Afghan refugees by offering places to stay in the U.S. 

Chesky also discussed how the industry is preparing to see "massive" changes as the world reintroduces international travel, returning "the other half" of Airbnb’s business. The CEO was nonetheless doubtful that business travel will ever rebound to pre-pandemic capacity.

"Delta [variant] is going to shift to people doing more leisure travel," he said. "The less they travel for business, the more they want to travel for fun."

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Half of Airbnb’s stays are longer than a week while a fifth are longer than a month which Chesky described as "people living on Airbnb." 

The CEO touted the company’s ability to roll with the punches, even throughout the pandemic, with props to its ever-changing and adaptable business model which Chesky suggested keeps the stock afloat.

"However the world changes, we can adapt," he said. "We didn’t pour a bunch of concrete into certain cities. We have hosts that have millions of homes all over the world. So we have an adaptable business model and we are a very innovative culture… Airbnb is going to keep moving."

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