Community-driven hospitality giant Airbnb has pulled off a major coup by being named official ‘alternative accommodation’ services supplier for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It’s the first time the company has signed on as an official partner for the games.
Airbnb is poised to welcome guests into around 20,000 affordable listings available throughout the city, many of which are in neighbourhoods close to Olympic venues.
An estimated 380,000 foreign visitors, in addition to Brazilian spectators, are expected to travel to Rio for the Games, which take place between August 5-21 next year.
Rio de Janeiro has become one of the top destinations in the world for home sharing on Airbnb, exceeded only by Paris, New York and London.
As an official supplier in Brazil, Airbnb will be included in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ticketing platform via a specific landing page, where customers will be able to book their listings in the city.
The organising body and Airbnb are working together to offer affordable alternative accommodation for visitors. Exclusive activities and experiences will also be reserved for the Airbnb community.
The deal follows Airbnb hosting more than 100,000 international travellers in Rio for last year’s World Cup.
Airbnb began operations in Brazil in 2012 with 3,500 listings, a figure which ahs grown to more than 45,000 across the country.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer, said: “We are extremely proud to be partnering with the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee to officially bring home sharing to the games.
“With visitors traveling from around the world, Rio residents get to serve as diplomats to their home country, hosting a global audience with real, authentic Brazilian hospitality.
“Together with Rio 2016, our hosts will ensure visitors have the opportunity to get to know the heart of Rio as well as enjoy the spectacle of the Olympic Games.”
Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 organising committee, added: “Airbnb has proven to be a wonderful choice in allowing us to increase supply. We are aware of Airbnb’s capacity in Rio and understand the impact that partnering with the leader in alternative accommodations will do for visitors coming to experience Rio and the Games.
“With the expectation of hosting people from Brazil and around the world, who are coming to Rio to cheer on the athletes from over 200 National Olympic Committees, we are delighted to embark on this partnership with Airbnb.”