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Under Pressure From Hotels After Paris Attacks, French Railway Cancels Airbnb Partnership

French hotels are still hurting in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Charly Triballeau / AFP via Getty

If you bought a railway ticket earlier Tuesday on, an online ticket seller for and subsidiary of the state-owned French rail operator SNCF, you were supposed to get a promotional message for Airbnb.

French hotels, none too pleased with the initiative, have now killed this partnership after turning up the heat on the Société nationale des chemins de fer français, or French National Railway Company.

Reports began circulating in French media on Tuesday indicating that the SNCF-Airbnb deal was dead, canceled just shortly before a press conference to announce the SNCF-Airbnb offer. The promotion encouraged SNCF travelers to list their homes when on vacation in exchange for free train tickets. If customers signed up as Airbnb hosts and made a minimum of 200 euros before the end of February 2016, they would receive either a return or two one-way SNCF tickets.

In response to SNCF’s decision to kill the partnership, Airbnb provided Re/code with the following statement:

It’s sad to see the big hotel lobbyists and their allies oppose a partnership which benefits hard-working families who want to make a little extra money to help pay their bills and save money when they travel by train. The Airbnb community has welcomed almost 4 million visitors to France in the last 12 months, and through partnerships like this we are committed to further growing tourism in France, a goal all companies in the sector should share.

After last month’s attacks in Paris, the business and share prices of hotels in Europe went way, way down, with occupancy rates declining by more than 30 percent. Though Airbnb’s business likely suffered as well, the high-end Bristol Hotel in Paris (whose chief executive led the charge against the SNCF-Airbnb partnership) lost $530,000 alone within three days after terrorists struck the city. Tourism is one of the biggest moneymakers in France; 500,000 jobs in Paris are connected to the industry, and the country is considered the world’s No. 1 tourist destination.

“How can the SNCF, which relies on government subsidies, defend and promote a company that is damaging an important sector of the French economy?” Bristol Hotel President Didier Le Calvez told France24. “Train tickets in France are too expensive, so the SNCF is asking its customers to rent out their apartments to cover the cost while benefitting a company that doesn’t respect French tax rules. We just don’t get it. We are shocked and angry.”

We’ve reached out to a representative for SNCF for comment and will update if we hear back.

This article originally appeared on

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