Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc has been awarded the contract to provide accommodation for visiting fans and athletes to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.  With demand higher than expected, Airbnb hope to help Rio de Janeiro solve the lack of hotel rooms for the hundreds of thousands of visitors set to descend on the city in August next year.

The Silicon Valley start-up will offer alternative housing through temporary rentals by Rio residents and will display the 20,000 spaces on the official Olympics landing page as part of the ticketing process.

Beating Hotel Urbano and Alugue Temporada in the bid, the co-founder of Airbnb – Joe Gebbia, announced at a press conference in Rio: "Rio residents get to serve as diplomats to their home country, hosting a global audience with real, authentic Brazilian hospitality."