SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Airbnb Inc. said Tuesday over 9,000 tourists will visit PyeongChang and adjacent cities where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held via the global room-sharing platform, with the international sports event set to kick off later this week.
The number of travelers who made reservations in Gangwon Province, including in the Olympic host town of PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul, during the event period rose 260 percent on-year, Airbnb said. The games are set to begin Friday for a 17-day run.
The company said the figure is equivalent to 4,500 hotel rooms, or 28 average-sized hotels, operating at full capacity based on double occupancy.
“PyeongChang 2018 has demonstrated how Airbnb can help cities quickly scale up accommodations when they are hosting globally or nationally significant events,” Lee Sang-hyun, the company’s head of public policy for Korea, said during a press briefing in Seoul.
The number of travelers from the United States who made reservations in Gangwon came to 2,410 during the cited period. The total number of American tourists who used Airbnb in the region stood at around 2,700 last year, it said.
“I have received five reservations from Olympic Games visitors, to whom I explained that there is not much around my house; it is far from the city and has no restaurants nearby. Surprisingly, guests said they are all even more excited for the true local experience,” Korean host Shin Gon-seob was quoted by Airbnb as saying.
Airbnb signed an agreement with the organizing committee for the Olympics in November to offer accommodation options for travelers visiting the Gangwon region during the quadrennial sports event.