Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, today announced it has become an official supporter of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The announcement was made at a signing ceremony hosted by Chanwang Uhm, the Director of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and Sanghyun Lee, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Korea.
As an official supporter of the Games, Airbnb will work with the local host community to offer accommodation options for travelers visiting Gangwon province during the Games, while promoting Gangwon province’s unique culture and natural beauty to the international audience.
Today’s announcement is another example of how Airbnb can help cities quickly scale up accommodations when cities are hosting globally or nationally significant events, while putting the spotlight on the city’s best asset, its people.
Director Uhm of the Committee noted in the ceremony: “We are grateful to Airbnb for participating as the official supporter of online accommodation service for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games following the Rio Olympic Games, and it is expected to make a great contribution to providing accommodations for foreign tourists as well as domestic visitors.”
Sanghyun Lee added: “We are extremely proud to be the official supporter of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, and we look forward to working with the Committee and our host community to ensure everyone feels at home in Gangwon.”
Supporting major events in Korea and around the world
Earlier in 2017, Airbnb signed an agreement with the Gangwon province to provide lodging and promotional support to prepare for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The number of Airbnb accommodations in Gangwon province has increased by 30% since the beginning of 2017, while Airbnb hosts have welcomed more than 70,000 guests to Gangwon during the same time period. Airbnb also signed an MoU with the Chungnam province in August 2016 to solve problems related to accommodation shortages ahead of Korea’s National Sports Festival.
Since its foundation in 2008, Airbnb has worked to help cities scale up accommodations for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in 2015, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and countless other events.
In August 2017, Airbnb was able to offer unique housing opportunities for tens of thousands of people from across the globe who traveled to the US to see the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse. Travelers flocked to cities and towns within the 70 mile-wide “path of totality.” More than 52,000 guests used Airbnb in order to witness the event, bringing hosts about $11 million in extra income. Nearly half – 49% – of all hosts for the eclipse hosted on Airbnb for the first time during that event.
Airbnb European hosts regularly show their ability to mobilize quickly in order to accommodate extra visitors during culturally important events. During the 2016 European football championship in France, which took place over a month’s time across 10 different cities, the Airbnb community accommodated 340,000 visitors. In the city of Marseille alone, where six games (including two playoff games) occurred, 57,000 guests stayed at Airbnb listings during the matches.
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro marked the first time Airbnb officially brought home sharing to the world’s greatest sporting event as the “official alternative accommodations supplier.” A study by the World Economic Forum and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, using Airbnb data, showed that over the course of the Rio Games, 48,000 Airbnb listings housed 85,000 of the city’s estimated 500,000 visitors. Many of these listings were created in the run-up to the Games. According to this study, Rio would have had to build 257 hotels to accommodate the number of Games attendees who instead used Airbnb.
Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs, said, “With the eyes of the world focused on Pyeongchang, our community is stepping up and providing guests with unique and local travel experiences. We want to work together with more cities to democratize the benefits of big events and extend their benefits to regular people who share their homes to help make ends meet.”