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During the April event in Berlin, we heard from travel industry leaders across sectors. And after first speaking to them on stage, we took another few minutes with the executives to get more insight in our backstage Skift Take Studio.
When hospitality giant Marriott decided to dabble in homesharing — following the lead of other large hotel companies — the news wasn’t all that surprising to Airbnb.
Jeroen Merchiers, Airbnb’s managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the move proved something the company had already known.
“This is not for the very few people, but this is actually something that is becoming mass-market,” he said. “More hotel companies are starting to see that and there’s a big consolidation happening in the sector.”
In his behind-the-scenes conversation, Merchiers also shared his thoughts about Airbnb’s newest products, the evolution of millennial guests, and why he welcomes new privacy laws in Europe.
“Privacy is at at the core of everything that we do; we’re asking people to share their homes, which is their most intimate, most personal, most expensive asset that they have,” he said. “So we have a tremendous obligation not to violate that trust and the accountability that we have toward our community. … That accountability is now transforming to legislation.”