Airbnb and Sports: a Winning Combination

People who rent out properties on Airbnb have earned an estimated US$150 million from some of the biggest sporting events around the world, according to new data released by the accommodation sharing platform.

Forty-four percent of Airbnb hosts surveyed globally say they have hosted guests travelling for a sporting event, the company said.

“Sporting events have also been a galvanising force for the growth of home sharing in local communities, introducing a new economic platform with positive ripple effects that last long beyond the final whistle,” it said.

As well, Airbnb has become a popular platform for sporting communities, especially with the development of new sports experiences.

The service says its hosts have earned an estimated US$150m from some of the world’s biggest sporting events

In Thailand, sports tourism is becoming an important part of national tourism strategy. The country hosts many large-scale domestic and international events, from running and triathlons to sailing and motor sports.

Buri Ram is growing into a sports hub and has hosted several landmark events, including the country’s first MotoGP in 2018. With limited accommodation supply in the province, Airbnb partnered with the Department of Tourism and the homestay provider B-STAY to increase supply.

Ahead of the 2019 Buri Ram Marathon, the number of listings in Buri Ram on Airbnb spiked by more than 3.5 times as local residents recognised the benefits of opening their homes to local and domestic visitors.

This followed last year’s 2018 Thailand MotoGP, where 220 guests from 60 global cities stayed with local hosts on Airbnb. Hosts earned a combined income of 400,000 baht over the four days.

“Thailand has a strong sporting heritage and is host to many large-scale sporting events that attract domestic and international participants and fans,” said Mike Orgill, general manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan at Airbnb.

“Airbnb is playing an important role in helping to scale up accommodation supply and create revenue opportunities for local communities that are the hosts of these events. Buri Ram is one destination we have worked with closely, and we also see spikes in bookings during sports events held in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, Bangkok and beyond.”

Airbnb Is An Online Vacation Rental Marketplace Which Lets People Rent Out Their Properties Or Spare Rooms To Guests
Airbnb Is An Online Vacation Rental Marketplace Which Lets People Rent Out Their Properties Or Spare Rooms To Guests

MAKING FANS COMFORTABLE

Every week, Airbnb hosts welcome fans into their homes as they attend sporting events large and small. A review of Airbnb booking data shows that this pattern has played out at major sporting events around the world throughout Airbnb’s history, as the table shows.

Airbnb hosts in Gangwon, South Korea earned a total of $2.3 million by sharing their homes during the Winter Olympics in 2018. Over 15,000 travellers stayed in an Airbnb during the three weeks — a 500% increase from the same period in 2017, and 71% of all international guests who visited Gangwon throughout all of 2017.

The upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan is expected to generate 300,000 guest arrivals to Airbnb-listed properties, and earn their hosts more than $43 million from Sept 22 to Nov 2.

“For cities around the world, hosting a major sporting event can be both a burden and a benefit,” said Mr Orgill. “They can create a tremendous economic windfall, but there are often questions about how much of that windfall actually makes its way into the pockets of local citizens.

“And the massive influx of tourists can place a strain on a city’s infrastructure, especially in places with limited accommodations.

“Over the past decade, Airbnb has helped to ease the infrastructure burden for cities that host major sporting events, and enabled local residents to more directly participate in the economic benefits they can often bring.”

Sports Experiences now rank as one of the top five Experience categories booked on Airbnb
Sports Experiences now rank as one of the top five Experience categories booked on Airbnb

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

Sports Experiences now rank as one of the top five Experience categories booked on Airbnb by travellers around the world. Unique sports are on the rise, ranging from Warrior Indoor Obstacle Training Experience in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a Flying Trapeze Experience in Toronto, Canada, and paragliding with a pilot in Yangpyeong, South Korea.

In Thailand, Sports Experience bookings grew 612% year-on-year in 2018, while the number of Sports Experiences available grew by 323% over the same period.

Surf Experiences are among the most popular globally with the most frequently booked Sports Experience being in Bali. Cycling experiences are also growing in popularity with Cycle and Snack through Hidden Bangkok being one of Thailand’s most popular sports experiences.

Among guests booking Sports Experiences, Generation Z (aged 18-24) and seniors (aged 60-90) are Airbnb’s fastest-growing demographics with growth of 513% and 433% respectively year-on-year.

Across Asia-Pacific, South Korea ranks first globally as the largest guest market for Sports Experiences, with impressive 741% growth year-over-year in adventurous outbound guests.

Indonesia and Japan are two of Airbnb’s top 10 Sports Experience markets globally, with 8,800 and 4,600 Sports Experience bookings in the past year alone. Vietnam is trending, with bookings multiplying more than 20 times year-on-year.

“Sports are a universal language, and sporting events have always been a pillar of global travel,” Mr Orgill said. “They serve as a beacon for travellers from around the globe, bringing together people from dozens of different countries for week-long festivities, adventures or one-day activities.

“Sporting events have been crucial to helping Airbnb work toward its mission of creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere — there are few other forces better at bringing communities together and cutting across the barriers of language and culture.”

Via: Bangkok Post

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