Organizers of next year's Rio Olympics struck deal with online accommodation provider Airbnb
Rio de Janeiro - AFP
Organizers of next year's Rio Olympics said Wednesday they have struck a deal with online accommodation provider Airbnb to provide thousands of fans with a place to stay during the three-week extravaganza.
Details of the deal for Airbnb to provide 20,000 rooms during the first Games in South America will be officially unveiled Friday, a source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
It would be the first arrangement of its kind at a Games -- organizers additionally have traditional large-scale accommodation in place with hotels.
But the linkup with Airbnb takes the pressure off after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed fears over Rio's ability to free up 40,000 hotel rooms in time for the Games, which start August 5 next year.
Many of those rooms are at hotels still under construction.
Airbnb, which boasts 17 million users worldwide, is already popular with Brazilians and foreign visitors who wish to rent a room in an owner's house, undercutting the price of a hotel room.
Hotel prices rise exponentially in Rio in high season and for events such as carnival and New Year.
Rio city hall last year for the football World Cup and during the 2013 visit of Pope Francis encouraged tourists to stay in private houses, albeit without signing off any deals such as that now envisaged by Games organizers.