It’s convenient: while the big European cities are stepping up their fight against the presence of Airbnb in their tourist centers, Airbnb assures that they no longer need them. This summer, Paris will not be the preferred destination in France, dethroned by the Var. The phenomenon is not specific to France, since Rome is preceded by Sardinia, London by Cornwall and Berlin by the shores of the Baltic Sea.
The statistics owe a lot to the virtual disappearance of international tourism: before the Covid-19 pandemic, American or Asian customers filled tourist accommodation in major European capitals every summer. It is difficult to determine whether this phenomenon will be sustainable when the balance between domestic and international tourism is restored.
However, Airbnb wants to believe in a shift that would reduce its dependence on major tourist metropolises – starting with Paris, its largest global market. Before the pandemic, nearly 12% of Airbnb’s revenue came from ten cities around the world. Most of them have taken – or are attempting to do so – measures to limit the number of tourist accommodation; and the oldest cases, such as that of San Francisco, the city of Airbnb, have shown that appropriate regulatory measures can seriously harm the business of the start-up.
Airbnb hopes for a “redistribution of tourism”
“We are present in nearly 100,000 municipalities, there will always be a few who will have a problem with us, explain to World Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb. They were more numerous before the pandemic than today: these cities now have another problem, since they no longer have enough tourists. Perhaps this is a new start for us: the redistribution of tourism will change the nature of our relationship with cities. “
The start-up believes it is in a better position to negotiate with local elected officials, who themselves imagine themselves comforted by the platform’s difficulties in its historic strongholds. For now, its priority is to distribute tourist flows over the territories, which will allow it to be more sheltered from regulatory threats, also brandished by the European Commission.
The home page of the site now highlights nearby destinations, “wilderness getaways” or “unique accommodations” – yurt, treehouse, barge or tiny house, in short, anything that is not. not a standardized two-room apartment in the Marais in Paris. For a long time, this same space promoted the most touristic cities in the world.
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