Paris mayor warns Olympics of Airbnb sponsor ‘risks’

The mayor of Paris has warned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the “risks” of short-term rental firm Airbnb, after the company was announced as a new sponsor of the Olympics Games.

20 November 2019
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has warned of the "risks" after Airbnb was formally announced as an Olympic sponsor
By Connexion journalist

Anne Hidalgo wrote to IOC president Thomas Bach on Friday November 15. In the letter, she spoke of the “risks and consequences” of the platform, and added her “total determination” to “strengthen rules around rental platforms, and, if needs be, to prohibit them” in certain areas of Paris.

Airbnb, and platforms like it, are often criticised for having a detrimental effect on the housing market in large cities. In many cities in France, including Paris, short-term rental listings must already show a registration number, and there is a 120-day-per-year limit for rentals of entire homes.

The sponsorship partnership between the IOC and Airbnb was formally announced on Monday November 18, in London, by the platform’s co-founder Joe Gebbia. Its value has not been revealed.

It comes as the company aims to potentially float on the stock market in 2020.

But Paris mayoral housing assistant Ian Brossat took an even more hardline stance towards the deal. Writing on Twitter, he said: “This choice is totally irresponsible with regards to the disastrous consequences of Airbnb on our cities.”

Airbnb has now become one of the few companies at the “top” of the sponsorship deals with the IOC, which also includes the American soft drink giant Coca-Cola and Chinese manufacturing firm Alibaba. The German insurance firm Allianz is also set to sponsor at this level, but from 2021 only.

Airbnb has so far committed to sponsoring five Olympic Games in total, including the summer Games of Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024, and Los Angeles 2028; and the Winter Games of Beijing 2022, and Milan-Cortina 2026.

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