French hoteliers ask the government to add measures to control certain websites that offer discounted rental prices. Such companies as AirBnB, Homelidays, or Housetrip often offer bookings cheaper than hotels because they benefit from not paying taxes that are a must for hotels in France.
The French Hotel Union even sent a letter to Prime Minister Manual Valls. In that letter, the hoteliers ask the government to protect their business and add some possible steps to do that. Among proposals mentioned there are longer administrative procedures for newcomers, VAT on rental charges, and a minimum stay of 7 days or more with shorter reservations being made through hotels only. Hoteliers mention that discounted booking websites are a real threat to their business. In 2014, the country’s hotel industry saw no growth in jobs for the first time in many years.
This is not the first time the US-based company AirBnB draws public attention due to cheap rates. The company’s concept short-term leasing of housing from individuals has caused controversy in the US as well. New York city councilors are worried by the fact that AirBnB encourages individuals to buy housing for rent purposes and de facto turning it into hotel without paying the municipal hotel tax. Such business also adds up to crisis of affordable housings in the city as 6% of AirBnB hotels control as much as 30% of all listings.