Aside from being fantastic news for the hotel industry in Paris and elsewhere in France, the precedent that this decision sets also creates wide-ranging implications to consider for people visiting and living in the French capital.
The new rules make it mandatory to obtain a registration number from the town hall before posting an advertisement online for any short-term rental. This will allow the city to collect tourism taxes from all relevant properties and to crack down on those which are rented out for longer than the legally permitted 120 days per year.
Since Airbnb started in 2008, Paris has become its single largest market. With over 65,000 properties listed on the site, France is Airbnb’s second-largest national market (behind the US with approximately 350,000 listings). Uptake on this scale has had a huge impact on the tourism and rental markets of both the capital and the country, and this new policy hopes to redress that.
For Parisians who have witnessed a reduction of 20,000 rental properties over the past five years—and the rise of property prices—it will hopefully relax the squeeze that Airbnb has on the rental market, meaning a greater availability of long-term accommodation and lower rents.
Conversely, those who rent out apartments or rooms here and there could see the reduction or loss of a much-needed secondary income.
People visiting the capital can be sure that the cost of this tax change will ultimately be passed on to them. This is obviously bad news for anyone looking to book a cheap-winter break in Paris over Christmas and New Year when the policy comes into effect.
In the longer term, it will likely mean a reduction in the number and diversity of properties listed on the site as well as increased competition for those that remain.
For those who believe that staying in a genuine-Parisian apartment is a prerequisite for having an authentic experience in the capital, this will mean very bad news for the purse strings.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. Greater parity of pricing between short-term rentals and more traditional forms of holiday accommodation—from budget or boutique hostels to brand-new or high-end hotels—may be just the encouragement travelers need to experience a much-loved side of the city swept aside by the Airbnb revolution.