Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo threatened to outlaw Airbnb in some parts of the city, following the company securing a lucrative sponsorship deal with The International Olympic Committee (IOC). Hidalgo made this threat in a letter sent to IOC chief Thomas Bach, as reported by Agence France-Presse.
She spoke of her “absolute determination” to tighten the rules on Airbnb rentals in the French capital city, which is one of the company’s biggest markets, with over 65,000 listings, ahead of the Paris-hosted 2024 summer Olympics.
“By removing a significant number of lodgings from Paris, Airbnb contributes to rising rents and worsens the shortage of apartments on the rental market, at a cost for all Parisians, in particular the middle class,” Hidalgo wrote, accusing Airbnb of “destabilizing local businesses and competing harshly with traditional hotels.”
Hidalgo is up for re-election next year and, according to Deputy Mayor Jean-Francois Martins, curbing the influence of Airbnb will be a key part of her campaign.
“She believes that Airbnb has a nefarious impact on housing,” he told Firstpost. “Parisians will have the choice between several options, including the possibility to have it banned in certain areas.”
French hotel owners piled on, attacking Airbnb earlier this week, after the announcement of the IOC sponsorship had been made.
“Airbnb doesn’t play by the rules, and must be disqualified,” the GNI association of independent hotels said in a statement, as originally published by TechXplore. “This partnership is inappropriate and it is outrageous.”
Paris and Airbnb have been engaged in a legal battle since earlier this year, when the city fined the company 12.5 million euros ($14 million) for allowing owners to rent their properties without proper registration.
photo credit: TripAdvisor