Platform co-op Fairbnb launches Covid-19 relief campaign

Lockdown is a challenge for the business but hosts are offering accommodation to health workers and looking to help communities rebuild

Platform co-op start-up Fairbnb has launched its Covid-19 relief campaign #IStayHome & #TravelTomorrow, which sees proceeds from future trips will be immediately diverted to support doctors, nurses and health personnel in the co-op’s active communities in Italy.

Fairbnb – which operates a sustainable, co-operative alternative to lettings platforms like Airbnb – hopes that by postponing booked trips to a later date, the sustainable tourism industry in Italy will be in a better place to recover when the effects of the coronavirus begin to subside.

It says the fall in bookings is “placing a burden on the shoulders of the owners and managers of the properties, and families who integrate their income without damaging the social fabric of their city”.

On its website, the platform co-op said: “A simple message for future guests of our cities: by booking today, while we stay at home, we can immediately contribute to the fight against coronavirus and at the same time plan a sustainable holiday, helping Italy to recover.

“Never as before, the society in which we live seems fragile: economic and environmental crises and now the spectre of a pandemic is eroding our habits and safety. Tourism, among all sectors, has proven to be the most vulnerable.

“The booking platforms have recorded a collapse in bookings made for these and the coming months, placing the burden mainly on the shoulders of the owners and managers of the properties.

“And yet, many hosts are demonstrating a great civic sense, making the apartments available to provide accommodation to the staff of Italian healthcare facilities thus allowing them to remain isolated and to reduce the risk of possible infections, both in their families and in the workplace. Others have returned to offer their apartment in the residential rental market, with consequent benefits on rents for those looking for a house to live in.”

Fairbnb – still in its pilot phase – says it is working with authorities in Genoa, Bologna and Venice to divert funds to organisations tackling fCovid-19. The platform is looking to expand this initiative to other countries, into Amsterdam, Barcelona and Valencia.

  • In Bologna, the part of the commissions for the projects will be donated to the Sant’Orsola Foundation.
  • In Venice, the commissions will be donated to the current account activated by the Veneto Region for the “Coronavirus emergency fundraising”.
  • In Genoa, the commissions will be donated to the current account activated by the Liguria Region for the Coronavirus emergency fundraising. has pledged that 100% of the funds will go towards supporting doctors, nurses, and operators who work on the front lines, and it will also contribute to the support structures and intensive care in hospitals in the respective cities.

In addition, the platform promised to directly cover all transaction costs – more than 25% of its gross revenues – to aid the fight against Covid-19 and allow the host’s funds to arrive at their destination without additional costs.

“For a start-up like ours, it’s an extra effort in a delicate moment, a risk, however, that we willingly take in the hope that this sad period will serve to remind everyone of the importance of the common good,” it added.

“We will immediately use all our international communication channels to try to involve as many potential travellers in the initiative, in the hope of providing immediate resources for the fight against the virus, as well as a perspective for the sustainable hosts of our cities.

“We appeal to other caring organisations worldwide to join our campaign by presenting this opportunity on their websites and tagging us on their social profiles using #Fairbnbcoop or by directly getting in contact with us.”