Paris' Deputy Mayor for Sport, Tourism and the Olympic Games Jean-François Martins has backed French hoteliers who are protesting about the IOC's new multi-million dollar deal with Airbnb ©Getty Images

Campaigning Paris politicians have weighed in to support French hoteliers who reacted angrily this week to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s new $500 million (£386 million/€452 million) worldwide sponsorship deal with United States tech company Airbnb.

Jean-François Martins, Deputy Mayor for Sport, Tourism and the Olympic Games, called for a new law to help protect the hotel industry from what many see as unfair competition.

"We must heed the alarm-call of the hoteliers," he said.

"The [Paris 2024] Games are the soundboard they have chosen to make themselves heard by the Government.

"It is urgent to have a law to provide a framework for Airbnb and put an end to unfair competition."

Another top city official in the French capital, Christophe Girard, who is Deputy Mayor for Culture, underlined the "high-quality" network of small, medium, large and palace hotels that exists in Paris and France as a whole.

"These are the natural and necessary partners for the 2024 Olympic Games to succeed," he said.

"The new world cannot destroy everything."

Their comments follow yesterday's announcement by French hoteliers that they will suspend their participation in the organisation of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Union of Hotel-related Trades and Industries described the IOC/Airbnb partnership as "inopportune".

There is anger in France about the IOC deal with Airbnb ©Airbnb
There is anger in France about the IOC deal with Airbnb ©Airbnb

The UHIM said it was "outrageous to make this enterprise which uses deregulation in every country of the world a worldwide partner of the IOC", adding: "Where is the morality?"

This is a fraught period politically in the French capital, with municipal elections in which housing is expected to be a key issue, scheduled for March.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has also warned the IOC of the "risks" of its Airbnb deal, faces a tight battle to retain her own position.

Martins indicated on Twitter that he wanted to continue to work with the hotel industry.

"They invest, create jobs and pay French taxes," he said.

"May the law protect them so that the economic rewards give them priority."

He told franceinfo that, since its creation, Airbnb had passed "from the status of a nice California start-up that allowed people to rent out their apartment at weekends to a predatory enterprise that arrives and destabilises cities, access to housing and the hotel industry".

It was no longer possible to permit a situation in which hotels were obliged to compete with "people who do not pay taxes in France, do not create jobs and do not invest," Martins said.

Neither Paris 2024 nor the IOC itself has so far passed comment on the negative French reaction to the deal announced in London on Monday (November 18).