A big deal for Airbnb at the Olympics

Airbnb secured a nine-year deal to become a leading partner of the Olympics. — AFP Relaxnews

Airbnb recently announced a nine-year deal to become a leading partner of the Olympics, promising safe and sustainable accommodation for visitors and athletes’ families.

The partnership with the International Olympic Committee “will ensure that the Games are the most inclusive, accessible and sustainable yet, ” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia told a press conference in London, while also confirming recently-announced verification improvements to ensure customers’ safety after a deadly shooting at one of its California homes.

No financial details were disclosed, although both the IOC and Airbnb noted that the deal sees Airbnb becoming a “top” IOC partner, the highest level of Olympic sponsorship, along with the likes of Coca-Cola and Visa.

IOC president Thomas Bach said the “landmark” deal would help to bring the Olympics into “the digital age”.

He added: “It will provide accommodation that will reduce the cost for the Olympic Games organisers and all the stakeholders.

“It will minimise the need for (new) construction, ” he told the event.

The company estimated the deal will result in “hundreds of thousands of new hosts”.

The partnership covers the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Beijing Winter Games two years later, the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the 2026 Winter Games in Milano-Cortina and the Los Angeles summer events in 2028.

“Airbnb and the IOC have a strong track record in creating and accommodating the world’s greatest events, ” Gebbia added. He said the partnership would “leave a lasting positive legacy for athletes and host communities”.

The deal comes shortly after Airbnb promised to verify all seven million of its listings worldwide by December 2020 after the California shooting fuelled fresh safety concerns about the lodging platform.

Launched in 2008, Airbnb next year plans also a stock market launch, hoping for better fortune than other companies operating in the “gig” economy.

Office-sharing firm WeWork recently delayed its IPO as its valuation tumbled. – AFP

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