Vacation rental service HomeAway is giving a chance to spend a night in Eiffel Tower to four contestants in a company-run competition as part of its sponsorship of this summer’s UEFA Euro cup.
The company claims that the winners will be the first one’s to spend a night there in the history of 129 years. A makeshift bedroom and living space will be set up on the tower’s first floor for the occasion. This stay will be a part of the vacation package which includes a three-night stay elsewhere in the city and round-trip transportation costs.
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples said he was initially a bit thrown when his marketing team brought him the idea, billing it as a splashy way for the company to spread the word about its sponsorship of the games.
When Sharples first proposed the idea to the Eiffel Tower authorities they were taken aback. “It was a very, very long process, I can only imagine what it takes to convince the city of Paris to do that,” Sharples said. “Paris is promoting the Euro cup as well -this is a really big deal for them, and they want tourists to flock to Paris and feel comfortable in Paris and obviously there have been some incidents in Paris that would cause them to really want to promote their brand as well.” He added.
“Europeans are more comfortable with vacation rental travel than they are in the United States or in markets like Asia where it’s still emerging,” Sharples said. “And in Europe, you’d be amazed at what percentage of the total vacation market is in France,” Sharples said.