Airbnb hosts to earn more than 2 million in Gangwon

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With the Winter Olympics underway in South Korea, residents in the country’s Gangwon province are set to earn more than $2 million from renting out their homes to visitors, according to Airbnb.

Gangwon is set to house more than 9,000 travelers in Airbnb-listed homes during the games, the short-term rentals company said at a press conference in Seoul last week. There were about 4,000 Airbnb listings in the province, the company added.

On average, people booked accommodation for three nights and paid about $170 a night, the firm said. The costliest listing on Airbnb’s website, as of Feb.14, was more than $400 for a one-night stay in Gangwon province.

The median income for residents from renting out their homes during the games was predicted to be about $260, according to the firm. In total, hosts in Gangwon were set to earn about $2.1 million, Airbnb said.

The Winter Olympics end on Feb. 25, and most of the events are held in Pyeongchang, a county within the Gangwon province.

Airbnb said many of the travelers were arriving from other parts of South Korea, the United States, China, Canada and Japan.

During major sporting events, accommodation is usually a scarce commodity. Because of the excessive, temporary influx of visitors to host cities, hotels are able to charge a higher rate than usual. But the prevalence of vacation rental sites like Airbnb has widened the selection of accommodation options available to visitors.

Still, last year, reports said that the South Korean government cracked down on hotels attempting to charge travelers excessively.

Hotel-booking website Booking.com showed that as of Feb. 14, hotels in Gangwon province were charging from anywhere between $30 to more than $700 a night.

In recent years, Airbnb hosts have collectively made millions of dollars by renting out their homes to visitors during special events.

For example, during the recent Super Bowlweek, Airbnb said hosts in Minneapolis and Saint Paul earned about $3.7 million thanks to about 7,000 visitors.

Similarly, users in the Washington D.C.-area made nearly $6 million from renting out their homes to people who arrived to watch President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year, the firm said.

During the Summer Olympics in 2016, Airbnb hosts in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, made more than $30 million in additional income from about 85,000 visitors, who paid on average $165 a night.



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