Given that The Netherlands is one of Europe’s most connected countries, it’s no surprise that demand to visit Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam is high. But hotels aren’t the only businesses profiting from the “Eurovision effect”. Locals are getting involved and listing their rooms on Airbnb.
After it was announced that the Netherlands’ famed harbour city would host the 65th edition of the contest, hotel prices immediately shot up. We’re talking sky-high, through-the-roof, are-you-actually-serious-right now? The city’s rooms were seemingly sold out, leaving Eurovision fans (and wiwibloggers) wondering where to stay.
But we’ve all been here before. In Tel Aviv, in Lisbon and in Kyiv before that. And guess what: For persistent fans who aren’t put off by the initial rush, there’s usually a happy ending.
As ever, airbnb is a popular alternative for people who aren’t interested in a hotel (or who simply can’t afford it). Staying in a Rotterdammer’s home — whether that’s renting it out entirely, or taking a smaller space within their flat while they live there — is an option most of us are exploring.
And that goes two ways. The arrival of Eurovision is encouraging many locals to list their properties on the site for the very first time. They’ve even had a bit of help from local media.
Regional broadcaster RTV Rijnmond recently published an article called “How you, as a Rotterdammer, can profit from Eurovision”. They showed how Rotterdammers were putting spare rooms on booking sites such as Airbnb, know doubt giving the nervous or simply novice among their viewers a bit of inspiration.
During the segment, Erasmus University’s Urban Economics researcher Erik Braun explained that it was a classic case of supply and demand.
“There will be people that have never supplied to Airbnb or those dozens of other platforms before, but will do it now because they think ‘Now, we will have a chance’. And yes: that’s supply and demand.”
“You might want to call it greed, but we as economist says ‘there is a lot of demand and little supply and people will profit from that’. So those Airbnb owners will act like a hotel, because [they think] ‘I can earn money with this. Normally, I earn €100 and now I can ask for €1000, because there is demand.'”
In a poll run by the same regional broadcaster, 40% of the Rotterdammers said they would consider putting their rooms on accommodation sites.
It comes as no surprise that some locals would like to profit from the song contest coming to their city. Rotterdam has long had a reputation of being “the biggest poorest city” of the country. A 2017 report shows that one in every seven inhabitant lives on a low income. Earlier on, mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called on the EBU to supply the contest with fair-priced tickets so the average Rotterdammer would be able to enjoy the event too.
We should keep in mind that hotel prices go up every single year shortly after the host city is announced. From experience we know that after a while, these prices will eventually go down. At the same time, more and more people will begin to list their homes on Airbnb in the weeks and months ahead. Several wiwibloggers have told us that they routinely book in February or March without any problem.
Are you unsure about your accommodation for Rotterdam 2020? Make sure to follow wiwibloggs for our upcoming Rotterdam 2020 accommodation guide!