Airbnb gets tougher on short-term rentals in France

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Airbnb has announced plans to tighten control of short-term rentals advertised on its site in several French cities including Paris by removing listings without formal registration numbers.

France is one of Airbnb's top destinations but the online rental platform has faced criticism in Paris and other cities, including Amsterdam and New York, over concerns that its service worsens housing shortages.

Airbnb said it would take extra measures against people who let out properties in France for short-term stays without registering with authorities.

Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux

Listings without a registration number in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux are to be blocked as of this year, Airbnb said, adding the plan would be rolled out to other cities too.

Under existing rules in Paris, people are not allowed to rent out their entire homes on Airbnb for more than 120 days and are obliged to declare the rentals.

The new measures follow an appeal from France's housing ministry for platforms such as Airbnb to work more closely with local authorities, including by sharing data and information.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the tourism and travel industries hard. Airbnb, which listed last December on the New York stock exchange, has suffered a blow to revenues as reservations dwindle.

The group said it would take part in new campaigns in France to promote travel, including in ski resorts in the French Alps and the Haute-Savoie region.

The French government has extended ski lift closures because of the pandemic, dealing a blow to local business owners who depend heavily on the winter season.

(with newswires)