Uhm Chan-wang, director of the Pyeongchang Organising Committee, and Lee Sang-hyun, head of public policy, Airnbnb, South Korea, are pictured launching an agreement today regarding the provision of accommodation for visitors ©Airbnb

Airbnb Inc has signed an agreement with the Organising Committee of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to handle the influx of visitors.

It has said it will work with the local community to provide accommodation options for visitors to the city, which is located some 180 kilometres east of South Korea's capital, Seoul.

The Games run from February 9 to 25.

Earlier this year, Airbnb signed an agreement with Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang is located, to provide lodging and promotional support for the Olympics.

The number of Airbnb accommodations in the area grew 30 per cent in six months, from 1,650 in December 2016 to 2,134 last June, the company stated.

"With the eyes of the world focused on Pyeongchang, our community is stepping up and providing guests with unique and local travel experiences," said Chris Lehane, Airbnb's head of global policy and public affairs.

During last year's Rio Olympics, 48,000 Airbnb listings housed 85,000 of the city's estimated half-a-million visitors, according to the company.

Airbnb used social media to announce their status as the Official Alternative Accommodation Service provider for Rio 2016 ©Airbnb
Airbnb used social media to announce their status as the Official Alternative Accommodation Service provider for Rio 2016 ©Airbnb

Uhum Chan-wang, director of the Organising Committee, thanked the company for becoming an official sponsor.

The Pyeongchang Olympics are not the only sporting event in South Korea that Airbnb has become associated with.

In August 2016, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Chungcheong Province to solve problems of accommodation relating to the country's National Sports Festival.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb helped Philadelphia with accommodation for the visit of Pope Francis in 2015, and has played a similar role with many other cities for major events.

Ticket sales for the Games have been disappointing so far, partly because the Summer Olympics will be taking place in Tokyo in 2020, which would affect visitor numbers.

There are also well-documented political tensions in the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea's missile launches being followed by a war of words between its Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un and United States' President Donald Trump.

South Korea's former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo claimed that political upheaval in the country has been the main reason behind the declining interest in the Games.

A sales update last month revealed that only 30.3 per cent of the 1.07 million tickets organisers hope to sell for next year's Games have been snapped up.

The update also revealed that as little as 20.7 per cent of the 760,000 tickets available for the South Korean general public have been sold.