Largs’ mom’s new idea to help Ukraine by ‘booking a vacation you’ll never go on’

LARGS businesswoman asks people to book vacations they’ll never go in new way to help families caught up in war in Ukraine

Kirsty Moore, who rents her own three-bedroom cottage in Largs, pictured, was moved by the plight of civilians fleeing their homes in the former Soviet state.

The mother-of-two, who helps run the company 1816 Property Finders, is encouraging people to book Airbnb short stays in Ukraine to provide financial assistance to those caught up in the conflict.

After being told about the idea of ​​reserving the platform’s rental apartments as part of a smart aid initiative that transfers money directly to the tenant, Airbnb announced that it would waive all fees for reservation in the country.

Kirsty said: “A growing number of people are saying this would be a great way to help.

“Obviously people would have no intention of visiting, but it can provide much needed financial support to those who need it at this time.”

The 49-year-old was moved by the shocking images of towns and villages left in ruins by the Russian onslaught.

Kirsty explained, “Ukraine is a popular destination for travelers using Airbnb and as a host myself, I understand that this may be their only income.

“Indeed, the support goes directly to the bank account of an Airbnb owner in Ukraine.”

Airbnb offers a donations link on its website – and also encourages other landlords to provide housing for refugees fleeing the war-torn country.

Kirsty herself says she would be willing to offer her Island View beach cottage in Broomfield Crescent to a Ukrainian family while they seek to resettle in Scotland.

She said: “We see the most heartbreaking images of pregnant women being stretched out of hospitals in rubble and elderly people losing their homes and desperately looking for a place to stay.

“Can you imagine if it happened here? It would be unimaginable, so I’ll be happy to help you.”

Kirsty had previously donated her property to key workers during the pandemic.

Kirsty is married to her husband Peter and they have two children Crispin, 14, and Henry, 11.

An Airbnb spokesperson said, “We appreciate the generosity of our community at this time of crisis.

“Airbnb is also waiving all guest and host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time.”

The company usually takes three to 15 percent of a payment.

The platform has over 300 listings across Ukraine. The company has also set up a dedicated hub to help people abroad welcome Ukrainian refugees into their spare rooms.

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Irene B. Bowles