AirBNB Could Provide Rooms to Olympic Spectators

By: George Hancock Jr.  |  February 26, 2015

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If you traveled to the World Cup in Brazil last year, you would know that hotel and air prices were rather lofty. If you saw the final, you were lucky to find a room for less than $400 per  night. Traveling between cities was comparably expensive. For a one-hour flight, you may have paid up to $500! A similar flight in the US would probably have been around $160 at that time. It was the Brazilian retailer’s dream, and the tourist’s nightmare.

Next year, Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the Olympic games and , because of the sky high prices fans met at the World Cup, the Olympic committee is looking for extra lodging. The more that are available, the better.  And, the more that are available, the lower the prices should be. The Local Organizing Committee, in Rio, is headed by Carlos Nuzman. He mentioned that Rio may be able to offer about 14,000 surplus rooms. One company that can help with that is AirBNB. It’s a website where homeowners post available rooms or entire houses and apartments that they lease for short periods of time (as little as 1 night), just like hotels offer their rooms.

Besides sheer numbers of rooms, AirBNB would provide something else: options. Options will be helpful in saving spectators money. Surely some AirBNB hosts are less likely to fully take advantage of the wave of money that’s coming (in the form of tourists) and that will surely lead to a wider range of nightly rates available. That’s the idea, at least.

This deal is not only important for tourists and their wallets. It could also be the first time a major sporting event’s lodging needs are satisfied by the general public. In 2012, London homeowners attempting to offer their rooms during the Olympic games were threatened with fines by the government.

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