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If You Can’t Beat Them – Join Them


Airbnb Inc. has put the hotel business on its ear. The company currently lists 4.92 million rooms compared with Marriott, the largest hotel company globally, who trumpets its 1.29 million room. For the last few years the hotel companies have poo-pooed Airbnb, while fighting for legislation that restricts their penetration of cities such as NY, Chicago, San Francisco, just to name a few.

Well, Marriott has decided to join them. The company is starting a new home-rental business, aiming to take on Airbnb Inc. in one of the lodging industry’s hottest segments. Starting next week it will offer accommodations in about 2,000 high-end homes throughout 100 markets across the US, Europe and Latin America. Alas, Marriott’s offering is rather skimpy compared with Airbnb’s reach. The other joiner who is trying to capitalize on Airbnb’s reach is New York Developer RXR who is teaming-up with the company to convert 10 floors in 75 Rockefeller Plaza into Airbnb lodging. Yet again, another great example of disruptive start-up that has globally changed the game.


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