Airbnb arrivals in Brazil more than doubled to one million with the 2016 Olympics

A man walks past an Airbnb logo after a news conference in Tokyo, Japan November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Online room rental service Airbnb Inc recorded more than a million guest arrivals in Brazil last year, boosted by trips to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and a number growing hosts looking for extra income in a deep recession.

Leonardo Tristão, Airbnb’s managing director in the country, noted the benchmark in a statement on Monday, marking a strong recovery from the country’s roughly 421,000 arrivals in 2015 and around 622,000 arrivals in the twelve months to June.

The market picked up steam in August, when more than 85,000 guests arrived in Rio alone during the three-week Olympics, whose organizers named Airbnb as the official accommodation provider. Brazil’s worst recession on record has also increased unemployment, pushing more people to seek income in accommodation.

The company previously reported 80 million arrivals worldwide in 2016, up from 40 million in 2015.

Tristão also announced the arrival of travel services known as Trips in the Rio and Sao Paulo markets in June, with the aim of diversifying income from accommodation to other tourist activities.

Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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