In case you hadn’t heard, it’s time for the Summer Olympics and Airbnb is the official alternative accommodation supplier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Last year, Airbnb signed the agreement with the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016. Brazil is one of the top Airbnb cities, with only Paris, New York, and London being ahead of it. Locals now officially welcome guests from all over the world to one of the city’s most memorable events. Know what this means for all the players, and I don’t mean the athletes.
This isn’t just a win for locals and for Airbnb, but for Rio as well. There has long been a shortage of hotel rooms in the city and with hundreds of thousands of attendees, the number of rooms in the city would likely not have sufficed. Airbnb has 38,000 listings in the Rio area which most certainly helps the accommodations. According to Leonardo Tristao, Airbnb’s Brazil manager,
55,000 people booked on Airbnb for the Olympics in July.
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During the World Cup 2014, Rio Airbnb hosts made an average of $4,000 during the month-long event. The average nightly rate for a listing in Rio during this year’s Olympics is around $165, according to Tristao, although there are some sources that say the average price is $206. Of course there are some listings that are in the thousands. For those who have full-time Airbnb investment properties, this has certainly been an opportunity to thrive.
Airbnb has simplified the transactions for hosts and guests. They started accepting local credit cards a year ago, as oppose to only accepting international credit cards. In addition, the company has now created an option to pay using Boleto for those who do not have credit cards. This is a slip with a barcode which can be printed and taken to local stores or banks and users can then pay for their online purchases. There is a 24-hour limit on the ticket, to avoid payment delays. Finally, Airbnb also lets users pay in installments.
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Airbnb being the official alternative accommodation platform has not only created options for international guests but also for more Brazilians. During the World Cup, only 6% of the bookings were from Brazilians, whereas by the end of the 2015, that number jumped up to 53%, according to Tristao. This means family members of the athletes can attend and since Brazil gives tickets to residents, it only makes sense that more locals would take advantage of Airbnb! Consequently, hotel prices have been greatly reduced.
Since August 5 until August 21, Airbnb offers affordable listings, with many of them in proximity to the Olympic sites.
Although there are safety concerns and worries about the Zira virus, Tristao says there has not been a pattern of cancellations.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, expressed pride in the partnership and stated:
We are extremely proud to be partnering with the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee to officially bring home sharing the 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.
It’s events like these that allow Airbnb investment properties to really pay off and owners to reap its rewards. Fabio Nahon, a former businessman, has Airbnb properties which are one of his means of income. He said “I think the Olympics will help Airbnb gain even more legitimacy and that the Olympics really put Roi on the tourism map.” Nahon’s properties were completely booked during the World Cup, even those prices were marked up by 100%.
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