FACING competition from Airbnb, which will celebrate a decade this summer, top European attractions such as Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Barcelona are out to revamp their own offerings.

The move is to keep  rental prices  in check yet keep supply healthy as Airbnb continues to be a thorn n the side of hoteliers, ten years on from its August 11, 2008 debut as  Airbed & Breakfast.

TEN YEARS ON, Airbnb, is worth an estimated $31 billion and has a stock of five million accommodation units advertising with it globally in 81,000 cities across some 200 countries.

"Those statistics make it a standout success story of the sharing economy as it responds to  'rising touristic and professional demand for independent and more spacious  centrally located  accommodation in huge cities,'' reported France's urbanisation association Apur last month.

The hotel industry is less sold on the success of what has become a big rival eating into its business without being subject to the same legal and fiscal constraints.

Municipal authorities have also expressed  ''numerous misgivings" notes Aupur, finding Airbnb-style rentals have given up prices to the extent many major European cities as well as New York and Tokyo have embarked upon a regulatory offensive.

Pars, Airbnb's number one market globally with some 60,000 rentals, has already faced legal challenges along with rival Wimdu. Authorities have also clamped down harder on owners not respecting legal requirements with some already hit with fines after the French parliament voted through a package of action last month.

Paris, having already last year capped the maximum number of days permitted for a short-term let to 120 annually, also said in April it would sue Airbnb and Wimdu for failing to remove ads from people not properly declaring their properties.

Spanish cities have tried hard to put  the squeeze on private landlords by, for example, limiting offerings to ground floor apartments which also afford provision of a private entrance.


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