Airbnb is arranging big money for the Olympics

Hundreds of thousands of fans travel to Rio for the Olympics, but many do not check into hotels.

Instead, they crash on couches and rent out rooms, even entire houses, to local residents to keep costs down. Travelers looking for hotel alternatives generate significant revenue for people who otherwise might not benefit from the summer games.

For the first time ever, home-sharing company Airbnb has become an official Olympic partner by offering “alternative accommodation”.

“The listings are spread across the city, which means we’re also spreading the economic impact to neighborhoods that aren’t tourist destinations,” Airbnb Brazil manager Leo Tristao told CNN in an interview. .

Related: Stunning underwater Olympic photos are now being taken by robots

Airbnb Rio Olympics
Take a look at one of the many Airbnb rentals available in Rio during the Olympics.

There are currently nearly 40,000 listings spread across the city, double what was available two years ago.

Revenue for hosts from Airbnb projects will be $25 million during the Olympics, which runs from Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 21.

As hotel rooms along popular neighborhoods such as Copacabana and Ipanema Beach have exploded, with prices topping $600 a night, Airbnb is offering a wider selection of deals.

For visitors looking to spend less, one option is a bunk bed at Iara dos Santos in the working-class district of Sao Cristovao. Dos Santos offers $30 for a bed in a shared room, plus a hearty breakfast of fresh fruit and cakes on the terrace.

Dos Santos, a former newspaper seller, discovered Airbnb while recovering from a car accident. After discovering the online service, she decided to turn her home into a business.

Airbnb Olympics Hosts Bunk Beds
Iara dos Santos offers bunk beds to guests for $30 per night.

Two years later, she sold her small apartment and bought a four-bedroom house to accommodate more visitors. Now she is complete for the Olympics.

Many of his guests are volunteers on tight budgets or attendees of the opening and closing ceremonies at Maracana Stadium, a 20-minute walk away.

Related: Airbnb’s Valuation Hits $30 Billion

About 66,000 Airbnb guests are expected to occupy rooms during the Olympics, half of which are domestic travelers, while the other half are international, staying an average of six nights. This boom in traffic and business comes amid Brazil’s worst recession in decades to provide short-term relief in an otherwise bleak economic state.

Unsurprisingly, some tenants are taking advantage of the sudden influx of tourists by driving up prices. According to a Bloomberg index released this month, accommodation in Rio de Janeiro on Airbnb is currently the most expensive in the world, ahead of Miami at No. 1. 2 place, and San Francisco, no. 3.

Airbnb Olympics
Airbnb host Anna Kahn opens her home to guests traveling for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

For those looking for something a little plusher than a bunk bed, there are plenty of luxury options as well.

Anna Kahn, artist and single mother, rents out her newly renovated six-bedroom house in the chic bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa to the Finnish Cultural Troupe, the country’s official dance and theater troupe in town to perform at various functions. The house will cost the group $15,000 for the duration of the Olympics.

“The Olympics are once in a lifetime for any city,” Kahn told CNN. “But it’s also a good opportunity to be part of something bigger – not just to make money. I chose my guests because I thought they would be a very nice group to meet.”

CNNMoney (Rio De Janeiro) First published August 9, 2016: 11:32 a.m. ET

Comments are closed.