SEOUL: Airbnb said Wednesday (Nov 22) it has signed an agreement with the organising committee for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea to handle the influx of visitors amid growing concerns over lack of rooms and high prices in the host city, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
Under the deal, Airbnb said it will work with the local community to offer accommodation options for travellers visiting Pyeongchang, about 180km east of Seoul, and its adjacent cities during the games, which will run from Feb 9 to Feb 25.
Earlier in January, Airbnb signed a separate agreement with Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang is located, to provide lodging and promotional support for the upcoming Olympic Games.
The number of Airbnb accommodations in the area increased 30 per cent in six months from 1,650 in December last year to 2,134 in June, the company said.
"With the eyes of the world focused on Pyeongchang, our community is stepping up and providing guests with unique and local travel experiences," said Chris Lehane, Airbnb's head of global policy and public affairs.
During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, 48,000 Airbnb listings housed 85,000, or 17 per cent, of the city's estimated 500,000 visitors, according to the company.