Oyo announced on Tuesday that it will offer free accommodation to refugees fleeing Ukraine. Starting with Poland, the homegrown hospitality technology platform has initiated concerted 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.
Commenting on the move, 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 further 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 further said it is also encouraging not only homeowners in Poland but also those in other European countries to open up their homes. It is also in conversation with non-profits 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 fundraiser campaign, encouraging its employees and the public at large for voluntary donations. The funds collected 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 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.