UEFA proclaimed rental site Abritel HomeAway their “official accommodation service”. That naturally caused outbreak of anger among French hotels and so they threatened to stop laying tourist taxes during the Euro 2016. The long-awaited event will take place from June 10th to July 10th in France.
French hotels are sure that by selecting the preferred website, football fans will be encouraged to make short-term rentals rather than booking hotel rooms. That was called unfair by the hotel union in their interview to Le Figaro. Moreover, according to hotels, there is no commitment to the ten cities that will host the tournament. Currently, French laws do not have clear legislation when it comes to tourist tax for home-sharing platforms. That puts hotels into disadvantageous position and, therefore, the UMIH union threatened to stop paying the tax. If that happens, during the month-long competition French government will lose 7.5 million euro.
Abritel, in its term, expressed “confusion” regarding the possible boycott. The platform was collaborating with the Paris Town Hall in order to bring simplified tourist taxes during the Euro 2016 period for all private households who offer their space for short-term rent. Currently, the home-sharing market of France is not well regulated and for many years companies like Airbnb managed to avoid the taxes. First changes were made in October 2015, when Airbnb was forced to charge tax from its members. Now all customers who rent a house or apartment in Paris from individual through the service are obliged to pay extra 83 cents per night. The money is then given to the Town Hall.
According to the UMIH, the hotel industry collects 95% of all tourist taxes while providing shelter only to half of all tourists who come to France.