1. Is your company a friend or foe to the hotel industry? Airbnb's Shawn Sullivan: “I think at the end of the day we are definitely competition. We want to get to the point where everyone feels as comfortable as they can be with us … that we are on level playing field, which is why we do work with governments to collect different taxes. We do work with governments on regulations. We do allow boutique hoteliers onto our platform, which is something new for us. We now have more than 15,000 boutique hotels around the world on Airbnb. What Airbnb is a reflection of is consumer demand. People more and more want local experiences, they want unique experiences, and they want to get to know the places that they’re traveling to. There’s nothing that says hotels can’t do the same thing—they just need to do it. So in a way, as a free-market person … I actually think competition is good, and it’s the consumer that will win when this all settles out.” Expedia's Hari Nair: “The world is evolving … and we look at ourselves as a channel. When customers come to (Expedia), we are sending them to destinations, and we are sending them to your properties. We don’t kidnap and hijack and send them nowhere—we send them to your places. We look at ourselves as marketers …. Consumers—there are lots of them, who are very clear about wanting to go and stay with a certain brand—want a choice. … Our relationships with destinations and hotel companies, have been changing and evolving over time. We see ourselves as a technology company, and as result of that there are three key areas that hotel companies love to tap into: our data, our marketing platforms and our technology platforms. Get the full story at HNN