Airbnb and its second largest global market; Can France master the travel giant?

Since Airbnb unveiled its French platform in 2012, it has gone from strength to strength. At the end of this summer that has just passed away, Reuters reported the platform had been in high demand, with more than 8.5 million French people using Airbnb between June 1 and August 31. So why does Airbnb attract both French tenants and visitors to France?

France has many visitors, including the French

Of the 8 million French people using Airbnb this summer – an increase of 35% compared to the summer of 2018 –Le Parisien reported that 5 million of them have chosen to stay in France, a trend supported by statistics outside those of the rental platform. It’s not just that the French traditionally support all things French, it’s because France’s geographical location allows for different climates and varied vacations, that tourists seek postcard-perfect countryside villages, national parks and mountains (think the Alps and Pyrenees), or lakes and beaches (Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts). The same is true for the rest of the world too, of course; France offers an array of holiday variations, which is why it is the most visited country in the world. Moreover, the world does not seem to tire of Paris; it is still the first city visited in the world (in 2018, Paris was the most searched destination on the Airbnb platform). Which means that for Airbnb, it’s a priority market.

Landlords can earn more on short-term rentals

It’s not hard to see why France loves Airbnb when owners have so much to gain. Unlike other rental options, seasonal rentals can generate greater returns than longer-term rentals, where short-term rentals are 2.6 times more profitable than year-round rentals.

As little as 12 nights of renting his property can be enough to collect one month’s rent in Paris.

Paris Real Estate Group

This has led to an explosion in the number of people offering homes and property prices have soared further as people rush to cash in on buying a second or third apartment in the city For rent. One of the impacts has been a reduction in the number of homes available for long-term rental, which has also happened in other places like Barcelona.

French rental law makes long-term rental a headache for landlords

A peculiarity of French law means that landlords feel more protected using Airbnb as French law tends to favor tenants; leases are never renewed, they simply extend from year to year, and it can be difficult for landlords to break contracts unless they can convincingly demonstrate why they need their apartments back.

It’s been hard to rein in Airbnb’s rental powers

In 2018, the government came under heavy pressure from the hospitality industry to put in place regulations limiting Airbnb’s gigantic expansion across France, but particularly in Paris. In response, to rent an apartment, you must on the one hand pay taxes to the French government (which Airbnb is obliged to declare), on the other hand, a tourist tax is added to the stay which is paid to the town hall, and thirdly, rentals cannot exceed a maximum of 120 days over a period of one year.

Despite the changes made, the Parisian mayor is still at war. Quoted in Le LocalAnne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, accused the colocation platform of breaking the law by allowing the listing of 1,000 properties that were not registered as tenants with the French town hall.

Yes to the sharing economy. Yes to Parisians who rent their apartment a few days a year to have a little extra income. No to those who make money by raiding, destroying residential housing and risking turning Paris into a museum city.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris

Airbnb critics believe the fabric of Parisian life and neighborhoods is being altered in deleterious ways, when for many people the opportunity to supplement their income is too good to resist.

The French market has been resilient for Airbnb

The wave of terrorist attacks across France over the past two years have dealt a severe blow to the hotel sector across the country, but the Airbnb platform has held firm; in 2016, unlike hotels, Reuters reported that attendance increased by 20% in Paris and 80% in the rest of France between June and September. This is because hosts can exchange messages with their visitors, which helps reassure them about security issues. With the launch of Airbnb Experiences in 2016 (sailing trips in the Calanques or truffle hunting for example), Airbnb reported a 700% increase in guest participation in the first year. Despite Notre-Dame Cathedral firedespite public transport strikes and yellow vests political demonstrationsAirbnb’s growth, it seems, could only be halted by further political intervention.

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