Airbnb’s Virtual Experiences connect fans with Olympians and Paralympians

23 Apr 2020
IOC News Airbnb Partners

Worldwide Olympic Partner Airbnb has launched a new online platform that offers fans the chance to connect with Olympians and elite athletes from the comfort of their own homes.

airbnb experiences

With communities around the world staying home to protect their own health and the health of others, Airbnb Online Experiences provide a new way for users to enjoy unique activities – such as workouts and mentoring sessions led by Olympians and Paralympians virtually – and for athlete hosts to share their passion, connect with fans and earn income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In March, @AirbnbExperiences hosts all over the world had to stop doing what they love—sharing their interests and passions with others. Over the past few weeks, they’ve offered ideas for how to continue hosting even while we’re apart. They’ve adapted recipes based on what’s in their pantries, turned living rooms into yoga studios, and choreographed dances for families at home. Today we’re excited to announce that Airbnb Experiences are now online. You can take a flamenco class with Lidón in Madrid, participate in a tarot card reading with Mak in Austin, or visit a colony of penguins in Cape Town—all from home. True to Airbnb Experiences in real life, Online Experiences are hosted by remarkable people and set in small groups. Alongside making a new dish, maybe you’ll make a new friend, too. Thank you to our incredible hosts around the world. We’ll see you online soon —> link in bio.

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“Human connection is at the core of what we do,” says Catherine Powell, Head of Airbnb Experiences. “With so many people needing to stay indoors to protect their health, we want to provide an opportunity for our hosts to connect with our global community of guests in the only way possible right now, online.”

Among those athletes offering the chance to enjoy a unique online experience on Airbnb is Olympic swimming gold medallist Breeja Larson (USA), who is offering to provide goal-setting advice, and Olympic sailing champion Xu Lijia (China), who is hosting personalised home-based workouts.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Airbnb announced at the start of their partnership the launch of Airbnb Olympian Experiences to provide direct earning opportunities for athletes by enabling them to host in-person experiences to Airbnb guests. Both the IOC and Airbnb have put in place dedicated teams to work on this partnership in order to empower the athlete community through this fantastic opportunity.  

With these in-person experiences currently suspended to protect the safety and well-being of hosts and guests, Airbnb is leveraging its technology platform to help its hosts and athletes continue to earn through Online Experiences. Olympian Elfje Willemsen described her experience hosting her own virtual workout as an opportunity to connect with people globally: “When offering the experience online, I was able to speak with guests from Canada, the USA, Sweden and England in the same session.”

Want to connect with an Olympian virtually? Explore all of the Airbnb Online Experiences hosted by Olympians here. Or are you an Olympian interested in hosting your own experience? Let us help you get started here!

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