Winter Olympics Recap: Gangwon hosts opened their homes to 15,000 travelers for PyeongChang 2018

Hyosun Bae first started hosting on Airbnb for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in Gangneung, Gangwon-do. Airbnb had worked with Gangwon Creative Economy Innovation Center to empower young residents in Gangwon province to convert their empty properties to Airbnb listings. As one of our selected Centre volunteers, Hyosun was inspired to remodel her house which had been vacant for the past four years to host guests from around the world.

“Meeting a lot of people has always been a part of my job, but opening my home to guests certainly feels different. Interacting with Airbnb guests is quite unlike what you normally experience in a hotel, as it comes with that additional touch of genuinely caring about them. It also helps to supplement my monthly income,” said Hyosun.

She added, “Becoming a host on Airbnb came with ease since the Olympic Games naturally attracted a large number of foreign travelers to this part of the region.”

Over just three weeks (February 9-25), Gangwon hosts like Hyosun opened their homes to 15,000 travelers from Korea and around the world. This represented a 500% increase from the same period in 2017, with 500 first-time booked listings. Hosts earned over a total of KRW2.4 billion (USD2.3 million) by sharing their homes during the Winter Olympics. 6,600 international travelers to Gangwon province stayed in an Airbnb during the Olympics period, accounting for 71% of all 9,300 guests who visited throughout the entire year of 2017.

As an official supporter of online accommodation services for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Airbnb worked with the local host community to quickly scale up accommodations for travelers visiting Gangwon during the Games, while promoting the province’s unique culture and natural beauty.

[Before and after: An empty home in Gangwon remodeled and converted to an Airbnb listing ]

Airbnb today released final data over the full period of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. It highlights the important role of the Airbnb platform to not only connect people, but also help local hosts create a more open society while gaining additional income.

RECAP: Airbnb PyeongChang 2018 Olympics

  • Guest arrivals: As of 26 February, there were 15,000 guest arrivals on Airbnb to Gangwon Province during the Winter Olympics — a 500% increase from the same period in 2017. This figure is the equivalent of adding 7,500 hotel rooms or 46 average-sized hotels* operating at full capacity.
  • First-time booked listings: 500 listings, or 27.8% of all listings booked in Gangwon during this period, were booked for the first time.
  • Host income: Across the region, new and long-time hosts on Airbnb made meaningful extra income by sharing their homes. Hosts keep 97% of what they charge and made over KRW2.4bn (USD2.3m) during the Winter Olympics. The typical host earned around KRW1,200,000.00 (USD1,100).
  • International guests: 6,600 international travelers to Gangwon province stayed in Airbnb for the Olympics period. This accounts for 71% of all 9,300 international travellers who visited the province throughout the entire year of 2017.
  • Affordable accommodations: The average nightly-per-room rate of booked listings in Gangwon-do is KRW167,000 (USD160.00), while the average rate for hotel accommodations spiked to over KRW500,000 (US$460.00) per night**.

“We are proud to partner Gangwon Province to bring home sharing to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Our hosts in Gangwon, many of whom are hosting for the first time, opened their homes to warmly welcome travellers during the Olympics. Airbnb helps local residents and cities add capacity by making the best use of a city’s most important resource — its people,” said Sanghyun Lee, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Korea.

About Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 80,000 cities and 191 countries.

With Experiences, Airbnb Hosts offer unprecedented access to local communities and interests, while Places Hosts let people discover the hidden gems of a city as recommended by the host that live there. Airbnb enables hosts to earn a little extra income from extra space in a home or from sharing passions, interests and cities. For more information on Airbnb, visit www.airbnb.com.

Reference

*The World Economic Forum defined “average hotel size” as 163 rooms, based on data from Hilton Worldwide (Hilton at a Glance, 2016).

**The average rate for hotel accommodations, based on a report by Yonhap News Agency.

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