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Airbnb News of the Week

Week of April the 15th

· Airbnb,News of the week

Airbnb launches events tool to offer its inventory to event and meeting organizers

For event organizers, the room block is a critical piece of any event. It offers attendees a discount on rooms right near or in the conference hotel. For some organizers, and some event types, hotels are either not enough or not the right fit for attendees. Even with the popularity of the sharing economy, it’s still not easy for event organizers to pull this type of inventory into a booking flow. To address this, today Airbnb announced a new tool for event organizers to offer its inventory to event attendees.

The tool works in a familiar way, allowing event organizers to make an interactive map of available listings near the event site. This means that the event organizer can curate, to some degree, the types of listings that show up for their event attendees. The company We’ll also create a personalized landing page, which will certainly be handy for events that might not traditionally have much accommodation information on the event site.

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Vancouver’s new rules on Airbnb begin Thursday

Starting this Thursday, Vancouver residents will be allowed to list their principal residence on Airbnb as long as the stay is for less than 30 days and they have a business license. The deal between the city and the home-sharing website is a first of its kind in Canada and was announced last week.

The new bylaw forbids non-principal residences to be listed on Airbnb. Residents will also face a $1,000 daily fine if they fail to display their business license. When first announcing the deal, Mayor Gregor Robertson said the new bylaw would help get about 1,000 units back into the long-term rental market.

Morocco Takes Aim at Airbnb and Booking.com

Moroccan officials have placed Airbnb and Booking.com in their cross-hairs, looking to level the playing field for traditional hotels as a “new reality” forces Africa’s biggest tourism destination to re-evaluate efforts to drum up business.

Vacation rentals offered on online portal Airbnb Inc. will be subject to tax beginning in 2019, bridging a legal void that has hurt the more than 3,800 hotels and hundreds of travel agencies operating in the country, said Mehdi Taleb, head of regulation, development and quality at Morocco’s Tourism, Air Transport and Social Economy Ministry. Tax officials will work with undercover hotel inspectors and interior ministry informants to ensure enforcement.

The changes are part of the North African kingdom’s efforts to confront a “new reality which is distorting visibility for our tourism development strategies,” Taleb said in an interview. With the help of online portals, 60 percent of the 10-million-plus holiday-makers visiting Morocco yearly plan their holiday by themselves -- sidestepping the conventional tourism market.

Paris could take away 43,000 Airbnb listings by June – here’s why

So you thought you could save money on your trip to Paris by renting an Airbnb? You might want to think again, because the company may be cutting 43,000 listings in the city of lights come June, should the municipality of Paris have its way.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, Paris is taking Airbnb to court after officials claimed that some 43,000 listings on the sharing company’s website are unregistered with the government. This is an issue, as Paris law currently restricts residents from renting out their homes for no more than 120 days a year.

Reuters reports that Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, said that Airbnb and other similar competitors ignored their instructions to take down any listings from the website that had lacked official registration numbers. These registration numbers, Brossat said, help to make sure that companies don’t rent out properties for more than the allowed number of days in a year.

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Airbnb just opened an 'Office of Healthy Tourism'

In a bid to counteract tourist saturation in major cities around the world, Airbnb is opening a new global Office of Healthy Tourism. The move is designed to bring the economic benefits of tourism to small businesses and local residents in destinations off the beaten track, while lessening the burden on popular holiday hotspots.

The office will be tasked with finding new ways to use technology to create new travel destinations, and will build on the work of similar, previous initiatives. Last year, for example, the company launched a program to promote 40 villages in Italy. Speaking to Fast Company at the time, Airbnb CEO Brain Chesky said, "If I could summarize the major problem with travel, it's millions of people are going to see a few things, rather than millions of people going to see millions of things."

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