Airbnb signs the link to the rooms of the Rio Games

Rio de Janeiro—The organizers of next year’s Rio Olympics and online accommodation provider Airbnb on Friday signed a partnership agreement to provide thousands of fans with accommodation for the three weeks of the event.
The deal will see Airbnb provide 20,000 rooms at the first Games in South America, but up to 80,000 could be made available, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said during a presentation in Rio. .
Gebbia and Games CEO Sidney Levy signed the agreement that binds fans who purchase tickets – which will go on sale from Tuesday – to the Airbnb website.
“Airbnb will be the official alternative accommodation service provider for the 2016 Olympics,” said Gebbia, whose company started in 2008.
“We are ready to show them what authentic traditional Brazilian hospitality looks like,” he added.
The arrangement is the first of its kind at the Games – the organizers have also set up traditional accommodation on a large scale with hotels.
But the Airbnb tie is relieving pressure after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed concern over Rio’s ability to free up 40,000 hotel rooms in time for the Games, which start on August 5 this year. next.
Some four million of these rooms are in hotels still under construction.
Airbnb, which has 17 million users worldwide, is already popular with Brazilians and foreign visitors who want to rent a room in an owner’s home, usually at a lower price than a hotel room. .
Gebbia said one of the benefits is a greater cultural exchange these accommodation services provide, with tourists typically spending around half of their tour budget in the area where they are staying.
“Rio is one of the top destinations on Airbnb with over 20,000 listings in 80 neighborhoods,” Gebbia explained.
Bringing tourists to areas sometimes off the beaten path of hotels would, he said, “expand the capacity and strengthen the economic empowerment” of service providers.
Hotel prices rise exponentially in Rio during high season and for events such as Carnival and New Year’s Eve, but the concept of home-based guesthouses offers an economical alternative.
“We want to make sure there are affordable options – our hosts love to take care of guests,” Gebbia said.
Daniel Almeida, a host in the Santa Teresa neighborhood and a former yoga teacher, told AFP that his activity was now his main source of income.
“It’s a big trend on the rise. As a host, you really want to help bring local culture to your guests. Hotels provide ‘chiller’ service,” Almeida said.
“If you treat guests well and exceed expectations, they will come back and send their friends.

AFP

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