Home Money Airbnb’s Olympics push could help it beat Paris

Airbnb’s Olympics push could help it beat Paris

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Airbnb's Olympics push could help it beat Paris

Short-term rentals can act as a quick release valve for a city expecting an influx of visitors, increasing capacity for a short period of time almost instantly. In fact, despite the usual hype around the Olympics, there are still plenty of places to stay in Paris this summer.

An Airbnb search for a stay for two during the first weekend of the games returned more than 1,000 results, with many charging less than $200 a night. A search for hotel rooms on Expedia only turned up about 20 hotels offering similarly low rates. In fact, hotel prices for the dates of the Olympic Games have fallen in Paris since December, but they remain higher than in the same period last summer, with the average cost of a hotel room during the first weekend of the matches, hovering around 440 euros starting in May.

Booking rates for short-term rentals during the Olympics increased 8 percent compared to the dates two weeks before the games at all venues hosting Olympic events, but the number of available rooms increased 38 percent, according to DNA of the aira third-party platform that tracks short-term rentals.

The average price in Paris for a short-term rental during the Olympics is $481 a night, while those who booked in advance paid an average of $350. Outside Paris, fares average $289, up from $198 previously. The “vast majority” of these listings on Airbnb, Stephenson says, come from families listing their primary homes. But other Parisians are begging travelers stay away, warning that the games will bring chaos to the city, and some are planning flee the city.

According to the company, people from more than 160 countries and regions have booked stays on Airbnb for the Olympic Games. The largest influx of tourists comes from the US: American travelers account for 20 percent of bookings, and many other guests come from the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.

In that context, and with Airbnb’s marketing push, Jamie Lane, chief economist and senior vice president of research at AirDNA, says it makes sense for more people to sign up for Airbnb to be hosts. “Everyone is starting to get Olympic fever,” he says, especially “with Airbnb doing more and more listings and market reach within the city of Paris.”

Despite the rush of visitors, the easy availability of vacancies suggests that, like many athletes competing in Paris, some Airbnb hosts will leave the games disappointed as their listings went unbooked. But Lane says big events have been seen in the past to provide a lasting boost to Airbnb’s footprint in a location. “A city is left with more listings than it had,” Lane says. For “people who maybe decide to do it for the first time, it ends up being a good experience. It was very little work. They think, ‘I should do this again.'”

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