Airbnb encourages Ottawans to rent homes for FIFA Women's World Cup
'There's certainly a big market out there for it,' says Airbnb user
The first FIFA Women's World Cup games in Ottawa are less than two months away, and the home-renting service Airbnb is encouraging Ottawans to cash in on the demand for rental accommodations.
"We've seen a tremendous amount of demand and interest in the city," says Aaron Zifkin, Airbnb's manager for Canada.
The company sent out an email blast urging residents to turn their homes into impromptu hotels during the FIFA tournament and Zifkin says there's been "a very good response."
Three years ago, Ottawa resident Lisa Miall was travelling regularly for business and began using Airbnb to rent out her home while she was away.
'Why wouldn't I do this?'
"And I thought, you know what, why wouldn't I do this? I'm away for these long periods of time, so I just got into it like that, thinking I would do it now and then."
Now, she rents out two units in Centretown, one in Sandy Hill and stays with her best friend when she rents out her own place in Hintonburg.
Miall charges $180 per night for the three-bedroom home in Sandy Hll.
Most of the year she says she's at 80-per-cent occupancy and she says the FIFA tournament will put pressure on hotels and allow her to raise her rates across the board.
But in three years of Airbnb hosting, she's never met another entrepreneur like herself in Ottawa.
"If I had to make an educated guess, I don't know that there's a lot of people capitalizing on this idea," she says.
Miall wishes she'd known that Montrealers would be visiting Ottawa for the Stanley Cup playoffs before the dates were set on Sunday.
"It's short notice. I wish I had more listings. I have to turn people away quite often. There's certainly a big market out there for it," she says.