The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Airbnb have announced a significant agreement to support the Olympic Movement through to 2028.
The nine-year, five-Games partnership is designed to create a new standard for hosting that will be a win for host cities, a win for spectators and fans, and a win for athletes, IOC has stated in a report.
The deal, reported to be worth an estimated $500 million in cash and value in kind will start with the Tokyo 2020 and also cover subsequent Winter and Summer Games at Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028.
In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future, and Airbnb’s mission to promote sustainable travel, the agreement supports the sustainability objectives of the Olympic Movement. These joint efforts will be in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
The agreement includes accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organisers and stakeholders, minimise the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period, and generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities. Working together with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Airbnb will also promote accommodation that supports accessibility for people with disabilities or other accessibility needs.
“This innovative partnership underpins our strategy to ensure that the efficient staging of the Olympic Games is sustainable and leaves a legacy for the host community. With Airbnb’s support, we will also develop new opportunities for athletes around the world to develop their own direct revenue streams through the promotion of physical activity and the Olympic values. Through this partnership, there will also be a direct benefit for athletes over and above the USD 5 billion the IOC is distributing during this Olympiad for their benefit to Organising Committees and sports organisations around the world,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.
Airbnb Co-Founder Joe Gebbia added, “Airbnb and the IOC have a strong track record in creating and accommodating the world’s greatest events. Our Olympic partnership will ensure that the Games are the most inclusive, accessible and sustainable yet, and leave a lasting positive legacy for athletes and host communities. Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, and we are proud that the Olympic spirit will be carried by our community.”
The partnership will generate hundreds of thousands of new hosts over nine years, giving community residents the opportunity to earn extra income by providing accommodation and local experiences to visiting fans, athletes and other members of the Olympic Movement. For visitors, the Airbnb community will offer a more local and authentic way to immerse themselves in the host cities and engage with the local communities. For the cities themselves, the Airbnb community represents a more environmentally sustainable way of accommodating a surge in visitors.
The IOC and Airbnb will also launch Airbnb Olympian Experiences to provide direct earning opportunities for athletes, underlining the IOC’s efforts to support athletes and put them at the heart of the Olympic Movement.
In addition, the IOC will make at least $28 million worth of Airbnb accommodation available over the course of the partnership to athletes competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games for competition- and training-related travel.
Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, said: “On behalf of the Athletes’ Commission, I am delighted that our new global agreement with Airbnb will benefit the athletes directly. This includes direct revenue opportunities from sharing their passion for sport through Airbnb Olympian Experiences, as well as direct support for their accommodation needs. We work to empower athletes around the world on and off the field of play, and this agreement is another example of how we are supporting and advocating for athletes throughout their career.”
Airbnb as part of the deal will also support the IOC in continuing to address the challenges faced by refugees around the world. The IOC has a long-standing commitment to refugees, including cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) since 1994, the creation of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and the creation of the Olympic Refuge Foundation in 2017. Airbnb has been supporting refugee initiatives since 2015 through its “Open Homes” programme, which connects generous hosts with those in need of temporary accommodation, including refugees. To date, more than 35,000 people have been housed in times of need. Over the course of the partnership, the IOC and Airbnb will establish further programmes to provide long-term support to refugees.