Paris mayor rings alarm over Airbnb Olympic deal

Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, says Airbnb's deal to provide accommodation at the 2024 Olympics Games in the French capital will push local people out of the housing market, according to French media.

PARIS/LONDON (REUTERS) - At the 2024 Paris Olympics, there'll be the athlete's village – construction work began on that on Monday (Nov 18).

And then there's the accommodation needed for everyone else at the games.

It's Airbnb's involvement in arrangement for that which is, reportedly, raising the ire of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Hidalgo is quoted by Le Monde newspaper as saying the short-term rental firm will push working people out of the housing market, while causing a nuisance for residents and destabilising local trade.

The comments, says Le Monde newspaper, come in a letter to Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

Bach on Monday signed a nine-year deal for the US firm to provide accommodation at Olympic and Paralympic events, with Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia.

"For the first time in history we will activate the world's largest host community, with hundreds of thousands of hosts all over the globe to share their culture with visitors during the Games," said Gebbia. "Just last month Airbnb hosts in Japan earned more than $70 million dollars during the Rugby World Cup, and we have even bigger expectations for the Olympic Games."

Airbnb has faced a backlash in some cities over similar complaints.

But this new deal pushes it into the top rank of Olympic sponsors, alongside names like Coca-Cola, Samsung, Alibaba and Visa.

 

No financial details were disclosed, though Britain's Financial Times quoted sources saying it's worth an estimated US$500 million (S$680 million).