Airbnb blocked 240,000 bookings in France to ‘avoid illicit parties’

Airbnb blocked 240,000 bookings in France to 'avoid illicit parties'
Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP
The property rental platform Airbnb has revealed that over the past year it has blocked 240,000 people from making reservations, under rules it brought in to avoid illicit parties.

Over the past 12 months of the pandemic, France has seen a period of complete lockdown, a ‘lockdown light’ and more general restrictions on large groups and social gatherings.

In order to avoid trouble with authorities, Airbnb says that since August 2020 it has limited booking to a maximum of 16 people per property. 

“About 53,000 people” have been prevented from reserving a property in the Paris area, more than 7,000 in Marseille and more than 4 000 in Bordeaux, Airbnb told AFP. 

Airbnb has also automatically blocked users under 25 years old with less than three positive reviews from making a reservation, if the place they were trying to book was located close to their registered address.

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Despite these, business is going well, says the rental platform.

“Thousands of stays happen every night in France, and most travelers are respectful and mindful of their neighbors,” Airbnb France and Europe’s director Emmanuel Marill said in a press release, although the firm declined to release official figures on the number of stays.

At the global level, the platform’s revenues for the 2021’s second trimester amount to $1.34 billion (€1.13 billion), four times more than during the same period in 2020 and with a 10 percent increase from 2019. 

In France, however, Airbnb has ended up in conflict with city authorities in Paris, who have accused the platform of pricing locals out of the market. A series of new restrictions have been imposed on Airbnb hosts in the city. 

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