The short-term-rentals platform will become an official global sponsor of the Olympics in the deal, reportedly valued at $500 million, which both sides expect to be socially inclusive, economically empowering, and environmentally sustainable, they said in a joint statement.
Typically, host cities have to construct hotels, attractions, and stadiums as part of sweeping infrastructure projects that routinely into the billions of dollars. When the Games are done, these new buildings often go unused, with little to no economic return; Montreal, which hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics, notably got stuck with a $1.5 billion debt that wasn’t paid off until 2006.
However, in the present, under the Airbnb deal, host cities will be able to set aside a certain number of units that are specifically for Olympics use. Being an official Olympics partner will also boost visibility for the lodgings company and as a result, probably generate more revenue and listings. Meanwhile, athletes will be able to sell training sessions and other meet-ups with fans through what is deemed an “Airbnb Olympian Experiences” platform.
The company said that by cooperating with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and our Airbnb hosts, they are committed to providing travel experiences to benefit the global sporting community and the local communities that host the next Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Airbnb has faced criticism in recent years since it grows into new markets at an exponential pace. This month, CEO of Airbnb vowed to verify each of the 7 million listings, and in October, the company was the subject of a detailed Vice investigation that involved a widespread rental-listing scam.
Officials from Paris, which will host the 2024 Summer Games, are pushing back against what they’re calling a “risky” deal, according to the Guardian. The city is one of Airbnb’s biggest markets, with an estimated 60,000 listings.