CEOs analyze Airbnb’s impact
CEOs analyze Airbnb’s impact
16 DECEMBER 2015 7:00 AM
Though it is but one of many accommodations providers in the sharing economy, Airbnb received the lion’s share of attention from hotel executives during the most recent quarterly earnings cycle. 
The word “Airbnb” was cited 36 times compared to four times for “Onefinestay,” according to an analysis of 11 public hotel company transcripts conducted by Steve Hennis at STR Analytics, HNN’s sister company. Companies “VRBO” (or “Vacation Rental By Owner”) and “HomeAway” were not mentioned once. 
Below is a roundup of CEO chatter on Airbnb from each company’s respective earnings call: 
Chris Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide Holdings
“The bottom line is we believe that a large portion of Airbnb’s demand is incremental. The bulk of the demand is in higher rated, high-occupancy urban markets; it is longer length of stay with a predominantly leisure and value focus. … We do not believe there is a material impact on the bulk of our markets or with our core business and leisure customers. …  I do not believe that they are a major threat to the core value proposition we have, which is consistently high-quality product and service delivery.”
Adam Aron, CEO on an interim basis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
“Airbnb is real. It's here to stay. The hotel industry as an industry has some issues with Airbnb on things like collecting accommodations tax and other issues. But I think we all have to (accept) that the shared economy is part of the way the world will work in the 21st century. Airbnb has been growing gangbusters in 2015. It hasn't stopped Starwood from reporting three strong quarters in a row. I do believe that the world's hospitality industry is large enough that it can accommodate Airbnb as a major player, as there are dozens of major players in the world's hotel industry today.”

David Sun, CEO, Homeinns Hotel Group
“For the new business initiatives, especially on the new business model in the lodging industry, things like Airbnb or Tujia, first of all, we are still very closely looking at these models to see any good things we can learn, we can study on that. … I think it will take some of the customers, travel customers into the new businesses like Tujia in China. But I think the majority of customers still are quite stuck on their current hotel industry or hotel service. So I think the impact will (happen) but still on a very minimum level.”

Gerry Lopez, president and CEO, Extended Stay America
“Their model as interesting as it is, and we’ll see in the future whether they are a potential distribution channel for us, a competitor or what. So the core of our business, the geography, the type of guests, etc.—we seem to be operating in different spaces.”
Jon Bortz, chairman, president and CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
“We wouldn't say anything has changed in the last three months, and there continues to be some impact that we see, and that’s noticeable around some of the more major conventions and events in these markets particularly when they're not business meetings. They're more meetings or events where people are paying their own way, and so it's impacting pricing to some extent in those markets, and we're not quite seeing the same compression that we've seen in prior years.”
John Arabia, president and CEO, Sunstone Hotel Investors 
“I don’t think any of us have a problem … with the shared economy. However, I would tell you that completely unregulated shared economy, I don’t believe it is good for any of us. … Obviously, we’re going up against a constituency that is incredibly well-funded, more funded, better funded than we are. … This is going to be a far more significant dialogue going forward, because as you know Airbnb and others are having an impact in certain hotel markets, and we’re just trying to level the playing field.” 



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