France's Controversial Olympics Tax Spurs Global Boycott Concerns

France’s Controversial Olympics Tax Spurs Global Boycott Concerns

On Tuesday, December 19, hoteliers in Paris were furious about a government proposal to quadruple the fee that guests pay while staying in hotels during the 2020 Summer Olympics in the city. According to the administration, the 200% increase in the tourist fee would go toward funding public transportation. At the moment, the nightly visitor tax in Paris ranges from €0.25 ($0.27) for the most modest lodging to €5 ($5.5) for the most opulent accommodations. As part of its 2024 budget, which it intends to force through parliament without a vote before Christmas, the government is tripling that charge.

The Tourist Tax Dilemma

In response to Sebastian Coe’s remarks that tickets are too expensive, the chairman of the Paris Olympics has stated that prices are lower than they were at the London 2012 Games. Prices as high as €990 (about £850) for Category First seats and €690, €385, €195, or €85 for Category A-D tickets might drive away true fans and result in empty seats at the Stade de France, according to a warning issued by Lord Coe on Monday on the expense of attending the athletics finals at the Games next summer. Given that Coe is the president of World Athletics and led the London 2012 organizing committee, his words carried particular weight. On Wednesday, though, Coe’s comments were deemed inappropriate by Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 organizing committee.

International Tourist Boycott and Anti-Sport Policies

There is increasing pressure on the International Olympic Committee to determine whether or not to allow athletes from Belarus and Russia to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. A total of 35 nations, including the US, Germany, the UK, and Australia, have requested that the committee forbid athletes from Belarus and Russia with fewer than 500 days until the opening ceremony along the Seine River in the French capital. Russian athlete ban requests have been criticized as “deplorable” by German President Thomas Bach, but the IOC has not seen to bend thus far. 

Essence of Olympics Promotion and Priorities

Paris 2024 and the French Development Agency (AFD) have partnered to develop an elite athlete-only incubator program. About 20 leaders of significant environmental and/or social impact initiatives are given long-term support each year to advance their entrepreneurial endeavors. Exceptional athletes’ abilities and morals are enhanced by this special incubator, which uses them to drive worthwhile commercial endeavors in France and Africa. 

Balancing Financial Gains and the Tourist Experience

With everyone’s eyes on Paris for the 2024 Olympics, it’s a further setback to the competitiveness of our industry and France’s reputation,” a statement from the UMIH hotel and restaurant union and the GNC group of hotel chains said. According to the syndicates, it would “amount to €423 million in tax collected a year far more than the €200 million” that the regional transport authority and the government have stated they require. “The authorities fear a hike in hotel prices, but they’re sending the tax rate through the roof,” stated Catherine Quérard, head of GHR, another organization that represents the hospitality and catering industry. They’ll then arrive and accuse us.” Already, hotels are charging more for a night during the Olympics, which take place from July 26 to August 11.

The Impact on Tourists and Olympic Values

Past Games experience has demonstrated that Olympic tourists spend more money per time than non-Olympic visitors. Lodging providers will be the biggest beneficiaries of the massive flow of guests who will arrive for the 17-day event. Because the short-term rental market has greater capacity flexibility than the hotel industry, it will be important. It was reported in April 2023 that 1,000 hosts in Paris were accepting reservations on Airbnb for the weeks leading up to the Games; however, this number is anticipated to increase rapidly, as hosts triple their rates during the Olympic weeks. In addition, the Games will support consumer foodservice establishments and transportation companies that serve both day-trippers and overnight guests.


The administration of President Emmanuel Macron has used Article 49.3 of the French Constitution to approve the 2024 budget without a vote. After the 2022 elections, it will not hold a majority. It has already employed this contentious process on many occasions, most notably to implement its very contentious pension reform earlier this year in the face of months of opposition. Anger was aroused when local officials revealed a substantial increase in public transportation fares for the Games, giving birth to the dispute. During the Olympics, the regional transportation authority will almost quadruple metro costs for single tickets and 10-ticket passes.



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