The disruptive force of the sharing economy is undeniable. As noted by tech cheerleader Tom Goodwin, the world’s largest taxi company (Uber) owns no vehicles, the most popular media company (Facebook) makes no content, and $25B lodging provider Airbnb owns no real estate, despite its operations adding up to giant impacts on apartment rents in its biggest markets. There is a chance that large apartment landlords will bring increasing levels of apartment inventory onto a collision course with hotels, at least in the top cities.
But measuring the impact Airbnb has on national hotel business is tougher – and the executive leadership of national hospitality operators doesn’t seem too worried about it. In Lydia DePillis’s piece in the Washington Post, collecting thoughts from hotel CEOs on conference calls, quotes from hotel execs were generally dismissive, noting that the amenities and service such as their industry is known for providing can’t spring from a vacuum:
Trade Group Highlights Multifamily Landlords
Hotel industry trade group AHLA released a white paper that claimed 40% of Airbnb’s revenue was from persons operating multiple units, prompting a pushback from the technology company and a bit of controversy, none of which has to date affected the CEOs outlook on Airbnb as a national-level threat to their hospitality expertise. Will the boardrooms remain confident in their business model, or will they get drawn into the technology-driven disruption as many industries have before them? Time will tell.
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