Airbnb inks deal to support PyeongChang Olympics

SEOUL-- Airbnb Inc. said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with the organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics to handle the influx of visitors amid growing concerns over lack of rooms and high prices in the host city.

Under the deal, Airbnb said it will work with the local community to offer accommodation options for travelers visiting PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, and its adjacent cities during the games, which will run from Feb. 9 to 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 percent 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 percent, of the city's estimated 500,000 visitors, according to the company.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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