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Airbnb news of the week

April the 13th

· Airbnb,News of the week

Paris just sued Airbnb over thousands of rental listings

Paris may be known for romance, but its love affair with Airbnb has ended up in court. The Wall Street Journal reports that Paris has sued the home-sharing site over its alleged failure to take down listings that lack official registration numbers as required by local law.

In November, the French capital limited the number of days that homeowners could rent out their homes as short-term rentals to 120 days per year. Parisian Airbnb hosts are now required to display a registration number on their listings so authorities can make sure they’re sticking to that limit. According to the suit, Airbnb and a few other rental sites were failing to remove ads that lacked the official registration number. Paris is asking the court to give Airbnb a hefty fine of €1,000-5,000 per day per ad (roughly $1,200-$6,000). They are due in court on June 12.

Airbnb tests eliminating guest fees in new pilot program

Airbnb is asking select hosts to join a pilot program that removes guest fees from listings.

In an email the company is sending to hosts obtained by PhocusWire, Airbnb says it’s running the program to see if eliminating the fee increases bookings.

The email outlines that instead of the usual guest and host fees that total roughly 15% of the listing price, the new program will charge a host fee of 12% with no added guest fee.

Participation from hosts is entirely voluntary, and those that sign on will trial the service for about four weeks, after which rates and fees return to normal.

Airbnb news of the week

Online travel operators are fighting back against Airbnb

Online travel operators are trying to beat Airbnb at its own game, and it is starting to work.

Booking.com, the online travel site under Booking Holdings, says it now has 5 million properties in its non-hotel portfolio, a 27 percent jump from last year. The 5 million includes villas, houses and apartments. Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel told CNBC that the alternative accommodations category is currently its fastest growing market.

Booking.com's 5 million puts it ahead of Airbnb's 4.85 million listings. Airbnb says it anticipates surpassing 5 million listings by the end of June.

Airbnb community boosts Western Cape economy

Airbnb has released new data on the impact of the home sharing community across the Western Cape, highlighting the continued growth of guests in the region and the positive impact Airbnb brings to local families, communities and businesses.

The data, which looks at host earnings and guest spending, shows that last year the Airbnb community generated an estimated R5 billion of economic activity in the region, helping boost the local economy and putting money back in the pockets of regular people.

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