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Airbnb to Help Cities Support Waves of Visitors During Olympic Events

The lodging enterprise is now an official global partner of the IOC

Airbnb will be supporting The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Movement through to 2028. A nine-year, five-Games partnership forged this week is designed to create a new standard for hosting that will help host cities handle the influx of spectators, fans, and athletes during popular events.

In line with the Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future, and Airbnb’s interest in promoting sustainable travel, the efforts fall in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. The agreement includes accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organizers and stakeholders, minimize the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period. In addition, they will generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities.

Creating New Airbnb Hosts

The partnership will generate hundreds of thousands of new hosts over nine years, giving community residents the opportunity to earn extra income by providing accommodation and local experiences to visiting fans, athletes and other members of the Olympic Movement. For visitors, the Airbnb community will offer a more local and authentic way to immerse themselves in the host cities and engage with local communities. For the cities themselves, the Airbnb community represents a more environmentally sustainable way of accommodating a surge in visitors.

Airbnb Olympian Experiences

The IOC and Airbnb will launch Airbnb Olympian Experiences to provide direct earning opportunities for athletes, underlining the IOC’s efforts to support athletes and put them at the heart of the Olympic Movement. To be launched in early 2020, this new category will bring Airbnb’s goal of providing economic empowerment through hosting to athletes across the globe – beyond the timeframe and geographical location of the Games.

Promoting sport and physical activity, these experiences will include everything from the chance to train with an Olympian, to exploring a city with an elite athlete. In addition, the IOC will make at least $28 million worth of Airbnb accommodation available over the course of the partnership to athletes competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games for competition and training related travel.

Airbnb will also support the IOC in continuing to address the challenges faced by refugees around the world. The IOC has a long-standing commitment to refugees, including a cooperation with UNHCR since 1994, the creation of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and the creation of the Olympic Refuge Foundation in 2017.

Airbnb has been supporting refugee initiatives since 2015 through its “Open Homes” Program, which connects generous hosts with those in need of temporary accommodation, including refugees. To date, more than 35,000 people have been housed in times of need. Over the course of the partnership, the IOC and Airbnb will establish further programs to provide long-term support to refugees.

Airbnb has previously supported the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor, as well as other major sporting events.

And a World Economic Forum study found that during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the added capacity provided through Airbnb’s platform provided the equivalent of 257 hotels for guests of the Games, saving the city the material use and carbon emissions, while also providing around $30 million in direct revenue for hosts, and generating an estimated $100 million in total economic activity during the in three week period.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Airbnb hosts earned a collective $2.3 million in income providing accommodation to 15,000 guests who would have required 46 hotels. And most recently, in Japan, Airbnb hosts across the country welcomed more than 650,000 travelers during the Rugby World Cup period, earning more than $70 million in host income.

“Since it was founded in 2008, Airbnb has grown to become a global household name. This partnership supports the future sustainable operations of the Olympic Movement and demonstrates the ongoing appeal of the Olympic commercial programs to the world’s leading brands,” said Jiri Kejval, IOC Marketing Commission Chair.

Airbnb will now support the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing2022, the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games Milano-Cortina 2026, and the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 2028.

The agreement also includes marketing rights for the IPC and the Paralympic Games through the IOC-IPC long-term collaboration agreement, as well as for the Youth Olympic Games.