The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24 this year, has forced more than 4 million Ukrainian citizens to leave their homes and cross borders to seek asylum in neighboring countries. The majority of refugees are women and children, who have found a very warm reception at the borders of countries like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and more. As of March 30, 11,200 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Croatia. Although many have had to stay temporarily in refugee centers in different parts of the country, there are those who are looking for alternative accommodation such as apartments and hotels.
In order to make it easier for refugees from Ukraine to find accommodation in the country where they are, as well as to allow property owners a way to help them, the company Booking.com has made available to all those who rent their properties on their platform the Ukraine Refugee Rate option. Thus, the accommodations can now create a special rate, exclusive for Ukrainian refugees, that allows property owners to offer accommodation for free or at a significantly lower price to them.
”We want to work together to help refugees from Ukraine find a place to stay via our platform”, reads the email sent by Booking.com. ”If you’re able to help, you can now create a Ukraine Refugee Rate to support people in need. This special rate allows you to offer accommodations for free or at a significantly lower price”. Additionally, Booking.com points out that they will waive commission for these stays.
Among the conditions to apply this special rate, Booking.com indicates the following:
”We appreciate any support that you’re able to offer. We want to make this process as smooth as possible for you and the people you’re helping:
The Ukraine Refugee Rate is only available to people leaving Ukraine who make a last-minute booking (0–3 days before check-in). This condition is designed to help you better manage the number of rooms you can commit to this effort.
Given the challenging circumstances people leaving Ukraine are facing, the Ukraine Refugee Rate will offer them control and flexibility, allowing them to cancel for free anytime”.
Booking.com has also prepared a FAQ article with more details about the Ukraine Refugee Rate, in order to clear doubts about this special rate for both Ukrainian citizens and property owners.
Which partners can offer a special rate to refugees from Ukraine?
At the moment, partners in the following countries can create this rate: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
The special rate currently applies for bookings and stays until June 30, 2022.
Who can book a stay using this rate?
This special rate enables partners to offer people leaving Ukraine a place to stay for free or at a significantly reduced rate. When your guests arrive, we recommend that you ask them for some form of identification document to confirm that the rate was booked by eligible guests.
Bear in mind that people may have had to leave their homes with little time to prepare. We recommend that you accept passports, ID cards, or any other form of documentation that shows your guests were residing in Ukraine.
You can cancel reservations within reason should you find that this rate wasn’t booked by eligible guests.
Rate details and cancellation policies
Given the incredibly challenging circumstances people leaving Ukraine are facing, you can only use the Ukraine Refugee Rate in conjunction with Fully Flexible rates. This allows the people you’re helping to have as much control and flexibility over their booking as possible. They’ll be able to cancel anytime without charges. If you haven’t already set up a Fully Flexible rate for your property, do this before creating a Ukraine Refugee Rate.
When you create this rate, you can choose to either:
- Offer a discount of between 50% and 99% on your usual rates, or
- Offer accommodations for free. In this case, for technical reasons we’ll display the price of the room or unit as EUR 0.01 (before any taxes and fees) or the equivalent in your local currency, but your guests won’t need to pay anything.
If taxes or other fees apply to the booking based on relevant laws and regulations in your country, handle these as you normally would since they’re beyond our control. However, we do encourage that you waive any additional booking-related fees, such as cleaning fees.
How the reservation process works
This rate currently applies for bookings and stays until June 30, 2022. Last-minute bookings can be made from zero to three days before check-in, and for stays of up to 30 days. This condition is designed to help prevent double-bookings at your property and to ensure space for those who need it.
To best support these guests, we encourage you to collect payment (where applicable) during check-in using a pay at property policy. If that’s not possible, we’ll support payment options for you. Because you can only use the Ukraine Refugee Rate in conjunction with Fully Flexible rates, these guests will be able to cancel anytime without charges or no-show fees. Of course, Booking.com will waive our commission fee for these reservations.
Creating this rate
If your property is eligible to create a Ukraine Refugee Rate and you’d like to offer people leaving Ukraine a place to stay, here’s how to get started:
- Log in to the Extranet
- Click Promotions
- In the Humanitarian aid section, click Assist next to Ukraine Refugee Rate
- Select whether you’d like to offer a percentage discount on your usual rates or offer accommodation for free
- If you choose to offer a percentage discount, enter a percentage between 50% and 99%
- Select the rate plans and rooms or units you’d like the rate to apply to
- Click Review
- Review the details you’ve entered, then click Activate
Canceling ineligible bookings
If a guest books the Ukraine Refugee Rate but isn’t eligible for it, you’ll need to cancel the reservation. You can do so by sending the guest a cancellation request with a note explaining that you believe the booking was made in error. Alternatively, you can contact our Customer Service team who will support you with the cancellation process.
Rent A Local Croatia has prepared a very helpful guide for Ukrainian citizens seeking asylum in Croatia. You can read it HERE.
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