Olympic-sized row: Paris fury at Airbnb for 2024 games
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Airbnb announced a nine-year $500-million deal this week with the International Olympic Committee to partner for the forthcoming Games. "Be disruptive" may be the clarion call of believers in Silicon Valley innovation, but try telling that to hotel owners who would have to cater to the accommodation service that undercuts their business.
And try telling that to all those registered voters in the French capital whose rent has soared as owners pull apartments from the market for long-term lease in favour of Airbnb. It's campaign time in Paris, with municipal elections slated for March. The mayor has promised that if re-elected, she would even organise a referendum on the proper terms and conditions of Airbnb.
More broadly, what's the future of the property market in big cities in the digital age? How to reverse the trend of a new kind of housing crisis, where prices skyrocket in city centres, forcing all but the happy few to the periphery? And will the Olympics ultimately be good or bad for Paris?
Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Jimena Morales-Velasco.