A center-stage panel tackled the topic of “Differentiating Brands in the Sharing Economy,” and in his opening minutes, Rufino Pérez Fernández, chief commercial officer, NH Hotel Group, called the sharing economy “a contradiction in terms”—if he’s sharing something, he’s not expecting to profit from it, therefore, no economy. Chip Conley, head of global hospitality and strategy for Airbnb, said, “It’s not about personal sharing, it’s about sharing the world’s resources more efficiently.” His example: 600,000 people traveled to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014; 120,000 booked Airbnb-listed accommodations, representing a lot of hotels that “didn’t have to be built” in order to accommodate the influx. Still, moderator Guy Langford, head of the travel, hospitality, and leisure segment of Deloitte & Touche, took Fernández’s point, saying that if “sharing” a misnomer, the correct word is “access.” (In fact, a January article in the Harvard Business Review uses the term “access economy” for companies such as Airbnb, Zipcar, and Uber, because, “when ‘sharing’ is market-mediated—when a company is an intermediary between consumers who don’t know each other—it is no longer sharing at all.”) Get the full story at Meetings.Net