LONDON/PARIS: Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of 2024 Olympic Games host Paris, has reacted angrily to the multi-million sponsorship deal between the International Olympic Committee and Airbnb.
The multi-million deal was formally confirmed in London with the accommodation organisation joining the IOC’s TOP global marketing programme.
IOC president Thomas Bach and Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, refused to confirm reports that the deal is worth $500m up to 2028. It will cover five editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games: Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 for the summer, Beijing 2022 and Milan/Cortina 2026 for the winter.
Airbn had already been a local sponsor at Rio 2016 and the IOC has said the deal should help obviate the need for the building of new hosting accommodation for Games visitors.
This has not been enough to win over Hidalgo.
In a letter to Bach, she said: “By subtracting a significant number of homes from Paris, Airbnb is a factor in the increase in the price of rents and worsening the housing shortage on the rental market, penalising all Parisians and the middle classes in particular.
“The consequences can affect entire neighbourhods that are affected, generating nuisance for residents, destabilising local trade and competing with the traditional hotel industry. ”
Hidalgo, who has already blocked a Paris 2024 deal with the oil company Total, said she intended to put the issue to referendum.
Last February, the City of Paris sued Airbnb. The US platform faces a fine of €12.5m for putting 1,000 unregistered homes online.