Airbnb, a popular company that specializes in home-sharing services, said in a statement Tuesday it has agreed to include a small tourist tax on rental apartments in Paris at the request of Parisian authorities, the Associated Press reported. Airbnb said it has agreed to collect .83 euros ($0.95) per person per day from lodging tourists, beginning Oct. 1.
Luxury hotels in Paris have become increasingly threatened by Airbnb’s affordability. Didier le Calvez, the managing director of the Bristol Hotel in Paris, denounced Airbnb as a menace earlier this month and said that it enjoys an unfair advantage, Reuters reported. Paris’ City Hall said that Airbnb’s new tourist tax is a move to bring the company more in line with the city’s hotels, who are required to pay a tourist tax and are bearing the brunt of increased competition, according to the Associated Press. Hosts in Paris are already required to pay income tax.
Airbnb offers home-sharing services in over 34,000 cities and 190 countries, and Paris is one of the company’s most popular cities. Over the course of one year, Airbnb generated 185 million euros ($240 million) of economic activity in Paris and has supported 1,100 jobs in the city, according to a study conducted by Airbnb in June 2013. 10,000 Parisian hosts accommodated over 223,000 Airbnb guests between 2012 and 2013, primarily by renting out homes in which they already lived.
The study also found that Airbnb guests staying in Paris spent an average of 2.9 nights longer and spent more money over the course of their trip in comparison to hotel guests, and 27 percent of lodgers said they would have not gone to Paris or stayed as long without Airbnb. The majority of guests that used Airbnb in Paris said they did so because they wanted to “live like a local” or experience a specific neighborhood.
Along with Paris, other popular cities in Airbnb’s network of home-sharing services include San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Edinburgh, Sydney and Barcelona. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and has over 1,500,000 listings worldwide, according to the company website.