Bach: Paris free to clamp down on new TOP sponsor Airbnb for 2024 Olympics
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, has insisted that all TOP sponsors "respect the rules and regulations of the host country," amid concerns in Paris, host of the 2024 Olympics, over the IOC's latest partner, Airbnb, the online booking accommodation service.
The USA-based company was unveiled as the IOC’s 14th elite TOP sponsor last month in a nine-year deal understood to be worth in the region of $500 million and covering the next five summer and winter Olympics.
However, Pairs mayor Anne Hidalgo immediately wrote to Bach to “alert him of the risks and consequences” with the partnership.
Hidalgo has been involved in a dispute with Airbnb in recent years as she believes the company is contributing to rising rent costs in the French capital.
She later pledged to hold a referendum in relation to the company’s operation in Paris should she be re-elected next March.
Speaking at the conclusion of a two-day executive board meeting in Lausanne, Bach said he had written back to Hidalgo, and attempted to play down any problems.
He said: "The situation is clear. We expressed in this letter that of course all our top partners are respecting the rules and regulations of the host country and the host city. And that with this agreement with Airbnb this did not change. So France and Paris are free to take their legislative steps if they deem this as appropriate.
"We have explained this agreement is complementary to the offer of accommodation in hotels — the more traditional accommodation. We see it as a great addition.”
The GNI, the French association of independent hotels, has also hit out at the IOC-Airbnb deal, claiming its members will cease co-operation on planning for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris over what they regard as unfair competition.