With the price of hotel accommodation increasing
by what seems like astronomic proportions during major sporting
events, it will come as little surprise that Airbnb hosts have
been quick to tap into this lucrative market.
To date, Airbnb hosts have earned an estimated US$150 million from
some of the world’s biggest sporting events, and
44% of Airbnb hosts recently surveyed by the company say they have hosted guests
traveling for a sporting event.
In Thailand, sports tourism is finally earning
the attention it deserves with the country hosting an
ever-increasing number of large-scale domestic and
international events from running and
triathlons, to sailing and motor sports.
Thailand’s northeast, is rapidly growing into the country’s sports
hub and has hosted landmark events including the country’s first
ever MotoGP in 2018.
With limited accommodation supply in the
city, Airbnb partnered with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and homestay provider B-STAY to grow supply. Ahead of the 2019 Buriram Marathon, the number of listings
in Buriram on Airbnb spiked more than 3.5 times locals recognised
the benefits of opening their homes to local and domestic
visitors. This followed last year’s 2018 Thailand MotoGP where 220
guests from 60 global cities stayed with local hosts on Airbnb.
Hosts earned a combined income of THB400,000 over the four days,
underscoring the ability of Airbnb to provide flexible
accommodation for events.
The top 5 sports destinations in
Thailand, measured by the percentage share of Airbnb listings in a
destination that mention sports in the description as of 1 May
5. Hua Hin
“Thailand has a strong sporting heritage and is
host to many large-scale sporting events that attract domestic and
international participants and fans,” said Mike Orgill,
General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb.
“Airbnb is playing an important role in helping to scale up
accommodation supply and create revenue opportunities for local
communities that are the hosts of these events. Buriram is one
destination we have worked with closely and we also see spikes in
bookings during sports events held in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket,
Bangkok and beyond.”
Every week, Airbnb hosts are welcoming fans into their
homes as they attend sporting events large and small. A review of
Airbnb booking data shows that this pattern has played out at
major sporting events around the world throughout Airbnb’s
Airbnb hosts in Gangwon, Korea earned a total of
THB72 million (USD2.3 million) by sharing their homes during the
Winter Olympics 2018. Over 15,000 travelers stayed in an Airbnb
during the three weeks - accounting for a 500% increase from the
same period in 2017, and 71% of all international guests who
visited Gangwon throughout the entire year of 2017.
upcoming Rugby World Cup will see Airbnb’s burgeoning host
community in Japan welcome an estimated 300,000 guest arrivals,
and earn more than THB135 million (US$43 million) over the period
of 22 September - 2 Nov 2019.
“Global sporting events help to
illustrate the potential and benefit of the Airbnb platform like
few other things can. For cities around the world, hosting a major
sporting event can be both a burden and a benefit. They can create
a tremendous economic windfall, but there are often questions
around how much of that windfall actually makes its way into the
pockets of local citizens. And the massive influx of tourists can
place a strain on a city’s infrastructure, especially in places
with limited accommodations,” Orgill added. “Over the past
decade, Airbnb has helped to ease the infrastructural burden for
cities that host major sporting events, and enabled local
residents to more directly participate in the economic benefits
they can often bring.”
Sports experience bookings in Thailand grew
612% year-on-year, while the number of sports experiences
available grew by 323% over the same period.
experiences now rank as one of the top five experience categories
booked by travelers around the world. Unique sports are on the
rise ranging from Warrior Indoor Obstacle Training Experience in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a Flying Trapeze Experience in Toronto,
Canada and paragliding with a pilot in Yangpyeong, South Korea.
Surf experiences are some of the most popular globally
with the #1 most booked sports experience being in Bali, Indonesia
- MySurfSchool Bali - Private Group. Cycling experiences are also
growing in popularity with Cycle and Snack through hidden Bangkok
being one of Thailand’s most popular sports experiences.
Across all age groups of guests booking sports experiences,
Generation Z (aged 18-24) and seniors (aged 60-90) are Airbnb’s
fastest growing demographics with an incredible 513% and 433% in
Across Asia Pacific:
ranks #1 globally as the largest guest market for sports experiences, with an impressive 741% growth year-on-year in adventurous outbound guests trying new
sports experiences around
• Indonesia and Japan are two of Airbnb’s top 10
sports experience markets globally, with 8,800 and 4,600 sports experience bookings in the past year alone.
• Vietnam is
trending as one of the fastest-growing countries in sports experience bookings growth, with bookings multiplying more than
“Sports are a universal language, and
sporting events have always been a pillar of global travel. They
serve as a beacon for travelers from around the globe, bringing
together people from dozens of different countries for weeklong
festivities, adventures or one-day activities. Sporting events
have been crucial to helping Airbnb work toward its mission of
creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere - there are few
other forces are better at bringing communities together and
cutting across the barriers of language and culture,” said Orgill.
Transforming Pattana into a Leading Sports Training Hub -
Interview with EVP,
Pictures from Top of the Gulf Regatta 2019 in Pattaya, Thailand
Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC World Rugby Hong Kong Sevens