• France's news in English

French hotel industry to 'go hard' after Airbnb

Ben McPartland · 9 Oct 2015, 13:44

Published: 09 Oct 2015 13:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Fresh from a recent victory over Booking.com the head of the French hotel industry has told The Local they will now be turning their attention to Airbnb to stop hotels from being driven out of business.

Laurent Duc and France’s hoteliers have long complained that Airbnb is unfair competition due to the fact individuals who rent out their apartment through the site are not subject to the same rules, regulations and taxes as hotels are.

It’s a grievance that echos the gripe of France’s taxi drivers against the rise of companies like Uber and other ride sharing services.

But in recent years the hotel industry in France has had other battles to fight, in particular with reservation sites like Booking.com and Expedia.

Earlier this year they finally won the long legal fight to force Booking.com to allow hoteliers in France to charge cheaper internet prices on alternative sites or to those who book in person.

(Laurent Duc. Photo: UMIH)

Duc told The Local this week they will now turn their attention to their grievance with Airbnb, which has thoroughly conquered France to the point where Paris is the world's number one destination for users.

“We haven’t even started with Airbnb yet. We have spent five years fighting Booking.com and Expedia to have parity and after all that we find we have unfair competition with Airbnb," he said.

"We are going to go harder and harder towards the end of the year and try to get the government to include rules and regulations in its next Macron bill,” Duc said.

The Macron bill is the next raft of financial measures expected to be drawn up by the Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, that are more designed to free up the French economy rather than tighten the rules.

Duc wants authorities to stiffen regulations so those who rent their apartments on Airbnb are subject to the same rules as hotel owners, whether it be around taxes, health and safety, or sanitary standards.

Tourists who use apartments rented out by private owners have no guarantees around safety and cleanliness, he argues, nor with disabled access and minimum sized rooms, which are criteria hotels have to meet.

“We want the government to force Airbnb to give the state what it is owed, we want them to claim the taxes and the VAT from those who rent the apartments,” Duc said.

He also wants the government to crack down on renters in Paris, those who put their flats on Airbnb even though it is illegal, because they are not the owners.

Story continues below…

“We want the website to be controlled and those who put their flats online to be given a specific registration number,” said Duc.

He says the rise of Airbnb has profoundly changed the landscape and forced many hotels out of business.

“In the countryside, hotels are closing and the buildings are being divided up and their flats are being put on Airbnb instead,” said Duc.

The president of UMIH also accepted that hotels would have to change with the times to keep up with new competition.


Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available