Friday

23rd Jun 2017

Strasbourg plenary pushes up Airbnb demand

  • On Monday's of the plenary week, roller cases are a regular sight in Strasbourg. (Photo: Peter Teffer)

There is a clear correlation between the timing of the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg and usage of Airbnb by visitors from Brussels.

The European Parliament meets in Strasbourg for plenary sessions twelve times a year.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • There is a clear correlation between room rentals in Strasbourg by guests from Brussels and the EU parliament's Strasbourg session (click for enlargement of picture) (Photo: Airbnb)

“When it's the week of the parliament, all the hotels are full,” Strasbourg's vice-mayor, Alain Fontanel, told EUobserver.

Parliament staff have complained to Fontanel that hotels display significantly increased prices during "Strasbourg week".

This has led to some EU staffers to begin using Airbnb, an online platform which connects people who want to rent out their apartment or a room to those looking for accommodation.

"It is a good example of how Airbnb is helping destinations accommodate events by providing additional accommodation without the need for additional building projects, while supporting sustainable tourism and helping make efficient use of space," said Airbnb's Bernard D'heygere to EUobserver.​​

One Strasbourg-based Airbnb host, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he “regularly” hosts trainees from the parliament, who “can't afford the price of a classical hotel”.

EU parliament spokeswoman Marjory van den Broeke told EUobserver that the EU parliament has no overview of how many of its staff stay in hotels or at Airbnb accommodation.

Car sharing

However, van den Broeke did have information on the way in which staff members are choosing to travel between Brussels and Strasbourg.

The parliament is promoting car-sharing and, in 2016, around 12 percent did just that.

The most popular mode of transport for parliament workers was still driving in their own car (34 percent), followed by making use of the chartered train (27 percent), and then the regular train (15 percent).

This article is part of EUobserver's annual Business in Europe magazine, which can be read in full here. This year, the magazine looks into how Europe manages the sharing economy. If you would like to receive the e-version of the magazine, please register for the newsletter.

Magazine

Sharing economy: Lobbyists educate EU officials

The European Collaborative Economy Forum, a trade association, has recently started doing advocacy work, while Uber increased its spending on EU lobbying significantly.

Magazine

Car-sharing's promise of clean cities

What if all cars in a city were replaced by a new form of public transport? A think tank modelled what would happen in Lisbon.

Money causes schism in sharing economy

The sharing economy started out with a few people opening their homes, lending some tools, sharing cars - all for free. Monetising sharing practices has created a giant that some "original" sharers refuse to associate themselves with.

News in Brief

  1. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  2. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  3. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  4. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  5. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  6. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  7. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal
  8. US issues warrant for VW managers, German media say

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move