AirBNB Named Official Partner for Rio2016 Olympic Games


AirBNB has been 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.”

Akif Malik, CEO of Sports Colab, an advisory and incubator that connects startups and the world of sports, founded Chicago’s Olympic Bid and is very familiar with the challenges of planning and hosting the Olympic Games.

“This is a great example of how technology, sharing and leveraging existing resources can positively impact global sports events that attract large groups of visitors over an extended, but temporary period such as the Olympic Games and World Cup.”

“The Olympic Games and mega-events are going through a transformation in terms of how to stage and scale.  From hotels for visitors to the athete’s village itself, this also creates opportunities for resources to be prioritized toward projects that have long-tem use and legacy potential.”

So, what else could Silicon Valley do to positively pact events like the Rio2016 Olympic Games?

Malik says, “transportation is a tremendous challenge for every host city and region. Ridesharing such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar all can help in various ways by being embraced by organizers and local governments as part of the overall transit strategy.”