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Posted by
122 posts

I don't see any suggestion in the article that this is anything more than a state sponsored tourism site with links to hotels, restaurants, sites, and tour operators. Your title suggests they are developing a site like AirBnB for private property owners to let out houses and apartments, but I am very doubtful that is the intent or. purpose of any French government tourism site. Certainly not going to happen in Paris where AirBnB has been basically driven out of business by the city government.

Posted by
2796 posts

It's unclear from the article exactly what the French government is aiming for. But whatever it is, hopefully it will be more successful than the Minitel.

Posted by
10899 posts

Of course I dont know any more than what the article says

The French government will join forces with the tourism industry to
build an Internet site aimed winning back customers from U.S. online
travel giants such as Airbnb Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc.

And France extends beyond Paris, but Paris does (prior to COVID) have a lucrative although highly regulated short term rental business. Go to AirBnb and there are hundreds of listings, each with the required license number posted. Given how much illegal activity there is, having a government site might make many more confident in booking. Great idea on the surface at least. Wish my AirBnb location had the same thing. Running the law breakers off would be good for legal businesses.

Posted by
921 posts

I can't access the article but isn't Gite de France goverment run?: maybe they are thinking of ways to reinvigorate that agency. Traditionally holiday rentals were in the countryside, with owners living on site or close by, but more and more 'city breaks' have popped up in recent years, which no doubt must meet some sort of criteria.

Posted by
1915 posts

I'm actually surprised that more countries and cities do not go this route. Simply make AirBnB listing illegal, and require all short-term rentals to go through the official portal. AirBnB's model is explicitely designed to circumvent local rules about short-term rentals.

Posted by
10899 posts

The government's should take over the grocery stores too. I'm curious, how is AirBnb structured to support illegal activity?

Posted by
921 posts

Thanks for the link. I have mixed feelings. I used Airbnb twice, both times in locations not normally associated with mass tourism (my third time was thwarted when I was required to produce a copy of my passport, which I was not comfortable with). I don’t know the legalities of short-term rentals in Paris or any other large city, or how much they affect rental conditions.

Now, does the French government just want more tax euros or does it want to take over some of the tourism rental business as well, including present Airbnb hosts? If the latter, then it will run into the same complaints.

Posted by
10899 posts

There has been a lot of fraud in the Paris short term rental market. The government has some fairly restrictive rules and people didnt want to conform. So the government began licensing them. Then they went after AirBnb and required AirBnb to show the license number in the listing. A pretty reasonable requirement. I suspect they believe they will get a better handle on legal rentals by having the government list them.

AirBnb floats in a grey area between a newspaper listing and a management company; all thanks to new technology. It will take time to sort out how or if to regulate the big platforms. Personally I am on board with what ever the local authority deems appropriate. Thats democracy in action.

The rules and the effects of short term rentals varies widely from location to location and it just not possible to make many generalization. I own two of them in a city that is fairly well regulated. Enforcement is lacking though and licensing and posting the license on the platforms would probably be a good thing for everyone. I like that part of the Paris model. With a license it would be easier to track down people who arent paying their taxes too.

As for the impact. I suspect its pretty extreme in some locations. Defining good and bad isnt that easy though as there are always winners and losers and even that equation varies over time. In my location the short term rentals were very instrumental in urban renewal that benefited countless people. Most of the apartments were owned when I started so the urban renewal increased a lot of wealth among the property owners. Now most are rented and the rates are too high for a segment of the population. But how many of those want-to-be renters would want to rent prior to the urban renewal? Its all very complicated and I dont have the answer so I resort to respecting the rule of law as instituted by the voters.

Yes, some people are getting filthy rich off the system in places like NYC. I think thats great. Even the published statistics are hard to interpret. Generally you read something like in location X the average AirBnb Host owns, or if they want to be closer to correct they just say "has" 10 or more apartments. Well, "Hosts" and "Owners" are not one and the same. In my market the average host probably "represents" 5 or maybe 10 units. But the word is "represents" as they are generally mom and pop companies that take on representing a handful of units for a share of the income. That allows people like me to own an apartment in Europe. Like all those that I know in the market, its our vacation home and the meager income from the rental pays the bills and generates a bit of income to help pay for vacations. In many locations, not all, that is the most common situation.

I am still trying to figure out how AirBnb facilitates criminal activity. I ask and no one has an answer .... BUT ITS TRUE. I can say that in most instances it doesn't have the checks in place to catch criminals. But even those checks would need to be set up by the government, like Paris did. So its a big world with a lot of differences. Some good, some not so good. But all in all, I think its a pretty decent platform. But dont just blame AirBnb, cause most of us have our units on multiple platforms so they must all be guilty if one is.

Posted by
6752 posts

A segment on the French news May 20th, told how France and other European governments are offering to buy apartments from distressed vacation-rental owners who are going underwater without clients. The apartments will be used to house locals on housing waiting lists.
Two effects: pro others in the buildings want stable neighbors. Lessen the possibility of bringing in COVID.
Con: one I learned in Cuba--this would house different social classes and education levels together, apt owners and subsidized renters in the same building, which causes problems.

Posted by
10899 posts

Maybe Paris is copying what they did in Budapest .... and most of the Eastern bloc 70 years ago. And maybe when the concept of socialized housing collapses as it did in the Eastern Bloc, there will be some great real estate deals to be had ... as there was after the Russian withdrawal from Eastern Europe.

I suspect your concern for the Cuban system isnt concerning the Cuban party elite, they will get to live better than anyone else .... much like the party elite in every country.