November 18, 2019 / 11:40 AM / 25 days ago

Airbnb teams up with the IOC to provide Games accommodation

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Airbnb are displayed at an Airbnb event in Tokyo, Japan, June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Short-term home rental company Airbnb Inc has joined the ranks of leading Olympic sponsors in a deal that will run from the Games next year in Tokyo until 2028 and is designed to help cut the costs associated with hosting the event.

Airbnb said the partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would cover five Olympics and Paralympics over the next nine years. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

That period also covers the Summer Games in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028, as well as the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022 and one centred on Milan four years later.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership would not replace the traditional Olympic village where athletes stay but would be based on a guarantee of accommodation for visitors, families of athletes, and officials, and would reduce the need to build new hotels.

“One of the goals of (our) agenda is to make the Olympic Games more feasible and more sustainable,” Bach said at an event in London to announce the partnership.

“There, this partnership will greatly help, because it will provide accommodation that will reduce the costs for the Olympic Games organisers and all the stakeholders.”

The agreement should help local residents to enjoy more of the benefits of hosting Olympics and reduce the resistance that has seen a number of cities pull out of the bidding process for Games in recent years.

“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,” said Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia.

Locals staged protests at the last summer games in Rio de Janeiro because of the cost of hosting the event while Brazil was mired in recession.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden

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