Tokyo Olympics Pricing & Occupancy Deep Dive

Wheelhouse Pricing & Data
Wheelhouse Pricing
Published in
5 min readMar 3, 2020

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The 2020 Olympics are taking place this Summer in Tokyo from July 24th to August 9th. Our Data Science team and friends over at Zens teamed up to see what story the data tells us.

All locations (source)

Key Takeaways

  • We expect the coronavirus to have a significant impact on demand, but we’ll keep an eye on how things develop over the next few months
  • Only 40% of the ~15K total listings in Tokyo are live during the Olympics
  • If you have a listing in Tokyo we generally recommend increasing prices 4x your average rate during the Olympics

Let’s take a look at the impact this is having on short-term rentals and how local hosts & property managers can leverage these data insights into optimal ADRs and occupancy.

Booking Curves & Occupancy

Currently, there are about 15K active Airbnb listings in the 23 wards of Tokyo, and 9.5% of them have already been booked for the Olympics. The normal occupancy rate during that same period (7/24–8/9) is usually 48.7%, but based on the booking curve so far, the occupancy for these listings is expected to be 95.5% this year.

What about studios vs. 5-bedroom apartments?

Breaking the chart down one step further, all listings — regardless of number of bedrooms — are showing an uptick in bookings for the Olympics and are expected to have an occupancy over 90%.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

So occupancy is going to be 2x higher than usual, but what about ADR?

ADRs during the Olympics have already increased by an average of +315.5% from ¥14,663 ($134 USD) to ¥60,923 ($558 USD) across all listings.

A breakdown by bedrooms again shows that smaller units have the bigger price increase than units with more bedrooms. Studios and 1-beds experience an ADR increase of ~400% while larger units have “only” increased by ~280%.

So visitors are actually booking nights during the Olympics at about 4x the normal rates, but how much are the available nights increasing their prices?

We did a deep dive into this too. We divided the price of every listing’s stay dates by the average price of that listing across all stay dates and came up with an average price factor for all stay dates. As you can see, there is a clear spike during the Olympics to a price factor of 4. That means that available listings are increasing their prices to about 4x their average rate.

Airbnb Supply

A trend that we often see for major global events like the Olympics, the World Cup, the Super Bowl, etc. is that new, part-time supply floods the market to accommodate the demand. People that don’t normally rent out their apartments list them on Airbnb for that event only. Do we expect something similar in Tokyo?

In short, not really. Let’s take a look.

Of the 15K active listings in Tokyo, only about 6K (or 40%) are actually listed during the Olympics. Which means there’s actually less supply available for the Olympics right now. For major events we usually see the inverse of this. That tells us most hosts are not even listing their properties yet because they know demand will only increase the closer we get to late July.

According to our friends in Tokyo at Zens, regulations have been tightening up in Japan the past few years and it’s more and more difficult to legally list on Airbnb. Therefore, most folks do not expect the total number of Airbnb listings to significantly exceed 15K, but time will tell.

Hotels

Based on a pool of 613 hotels observed on hotels.com, hotel prices are up by about 150–200% while a lot of rooms are already booked and only about one fifth of the rooms is still available.

Summary

Predicting the future is impossible. That’s why our Data Science team has teamed up with our friends and Wheelhouse customers over at Zens to combine our robust data insights with their hyperlocal knowledge to make our best recommendations for how to optimize revenue during the Olympics.

How will the coronavirus impact travel to Japan for the Olympics? Will things improve during the Spring and people will be more likely to travel by late July? Time will tell and we’ll be here to provide updates as the event gets closer.

In general, we would recommend opening up your calendar and increasing your prices at least 3x the average rate. Could you make more money by waiting until the last minute? Possibly, but it ultimately depends on your appetite for risk vs. reward.

Want to take the guesswork out of pricing big events and stop leaving money on the table? Sign up with Wheelhouse and start dynamically pricing your listings today. 30-day free trial. 24/7 support at hello@usewheelhouse.com. No contracts or hidden fees. Costs start at 1% of reservations that we actually priced and that percentage gets lower the more properties you connect.

Our friends at Zens wearing new Wheelhouse tshirts! Udai (L) and Ryoma (R).

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Wheelhouse Pricing & Data
Wheelhouse Pricing

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