Airbnb boss Brian Chesky directly called out Expedia and Booking.com as the platform’s main competitors last year, and nearly every move it’s made since – from recent investments to acquisitions to hires – points to its ambitions as an online travel agency.
However, Airbnb managing director of EMEA Jeroen Merchiers, speaking during an Executive Interview at Phocuswright Europe yesterday, claims: “We’re not obsessed with any individual company.”
In fact, Airbnb wasn’t preoccupied with hotels as competition in Airbnb’s earlier days, either, he continues. “There’s huge opportunity for everybody [in the industry],” he says, “And everybody will find their place.”
Merchiers says Airbnb is even “welcoming Marriott to the party,” following the recent news of its official entry into home-sharing, though he believes the hospitality titan is targeting a different market.
During his Center Stage interview with editor in chief Kevin May, Merchiers also talked about Airbnb’s recent OYO investment, HotelTonight acquisition and Experiences business.
Watch the full interview below:
Executive Interview: Airbnb – Jeroen Merchiers – Phocuswright Europe 2019
Later, Merchiers joined us in the PhocusWire Studio to discuss Airbnb’s recent hires – including Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt, head of global diversity and belonging, and Sean Joyce, chief trust officer – as well as the state of Airbnb for Work and Airbnb Plus.