Nik Fes - Oct 30, 2023
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Airbnb, a Californian company, is one of the primary sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The agreement between Airbnb and IOC runs until the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, including the 2024 Paris Olympics from July 26 to August 11. This deal has caused a stir among hoteliers in France, who accuse Airbnb of "unfair competition" due to their exemption from the same taxation rules for tourist accommodations.

However, Bertrand Burdet, deputy general manager of Airbnb France, believes there is enough room for everyone. He explained that Airbnb and hotels offer different experiences, and there is complementarity between the two.

Airbnb has agreed to provide IOC members, athletes, and their respective families with Airbnb credits for tourist accommodations. The platform also encourages its users to open their booking calendars leading up to the Olympic Games to increase the number of available options for travelers. Mr. Burdet expressed his desire to expand the platform's offerings to support the Olympic Games.

Recent statistics indicate a 60% increase in new active listings of tourist accommodations during the second quarter in Ile-de-France compared to the first three months of 2023. The trend continued in the third quarter, with a significant increase in supply, from private rooms to entire apartments, not only in Paris but also in the inner suburbs.

A recent Deloitte study commissioned by Airbnb reveals that 20% of Ile-de-France residents plan to list their apartments on the platform for the first time during the Games. The study also estimates that over 877,000 people will require accommodation during this period, and Airbnb's capacity is expected to accommodate around 350,000.

Airbnb has been accused of exacerbating rental shortages for residents, leading to increasingly strict regulations in cities such as New York and Paris. According to Bertrand Burdet, the platform's relationship with the City of Paris is improving despite a turbulent past. He emphasizes that in Paris, most rental hosts only occasionally rent out their properties to earn extra income.

The Minister Delegate for Tourism, Olivia Grégoire, recently cautioned the hospitality industry to avoid imposing "unreasonable" price hikes during events. She also repeated that the government plans to establish a price observatory for furnished tourist accommodations by the end of the year. Airbnb argues that they are currently in talks with the government regarding this initiative. However, the lodging giant believes it will only be relevant if it applies to all players in the hospitality sector, including hotels.

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