Two years ago, there were 20,000 Airbnb listings in Paris. A year later the number had climbed to 40,000 and a housing inspector told The Wall Street Journal, “The center of our city is becoming deserted. More and more, it’s just tourists.” Since then, yet another 20,000 listings have appeared, so it’s no surprise that the company with the tagline “Belong Anywhere” has experienced a frosty welcome from city governments around the world struggling to deal with this explosion of tourist accommodations.
Airbnb continues to present its business as low-impact, made up of everyday hosts occasionally renting out their own home. A recent Airbnb report on its business in Lisbon shows that “many listings on Airbnb in Lisbon are local residents’ homes,” reassuring readers that “72 percent of hosts in Airbnb in Lisbon have only one listing.” But this is being economical with the truth: My independently collected data set shows that the 28% of hosts with more than one listing (who can be considered “commercial” hosts) account for two-thirds of the company’s business in Lisbon. And while Airbnb claims that “70 percent of Airbnb guests in Lisbon stay outside the typical tourist hotspots,” my data shows that the majority of visits take place inside the two central districts of Misericórdia and Santa Maria Maior, an area of only about six square kilometers. With the number of listings in this small city of half a million people growing from 5,500 in May 2015 to over 10,000 today, a significant impact is inevitable. João Seixas, a geography professor at the New University of Lisbon, and his colleagues are “very much concerned with what is rapidly happening to the historical center of our beautiful city. Our estimate is that in the last three years, around one-quarter or even one-third of the housing stock has changed function, mainly toward financial investments and short rentals.”
26. Which of the following is a possible situation tourists may encounter in Paris?
A. Airbnb’s housing inspector is checking the listings.
B. Their neighbors are tourists from other countries.
C. The government gives them a frosty welcome.
D. They don’t have many choices of accommodation if they are visiting the center of Paris.
27. All of the following are true EXCEPT ______.
A. Local residents leave the city centre because of Airbnb
B. Tourists think Airbnb is taking advantage of them
C. City governments are not eager to support Airbnb
D. In two years, Airbnb listings have tripled
28. According to the author, Airbnb’s report is ______.
A. deceitful B. made up C. true D. false
29. According to the second paragraph, which of the following statement is not mentioned?
A. At least one-quarter of the housing stock has become financial investments and
B. 72% of hosts with one listing account for one third of the company’s business in Lisbon.
C. Airbnb has a huge impact on the historical center of Lisbon.
D. 28% of all listings is in Misericordia and Santa Maria Maior.
30. The primary purpose of the passage is to ______.
A. show Airbnb is facing an existential expansion problem
B. accuse Airbnb of lying about its true cause
C. warn governments of France and Portugal
D. introduce Airbnb’s popularity in Paris and Lisbon