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August 4, 2015
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Americas: “Sharing Economy” as Oxymoron—and More from the 2015 GBTA Convention


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If there’s a hot topic for hotel and ground transportation companies today, it’s how to embrace—or repel—the “sharing economy,” that is, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and others. Business travelers have shown that they are clearly in the “embrace” camp, so it’s fitting that the Global Business Travel Association chose “sharing” as its 2015 convention theme. To be precise, though, the theme is “#sharing.” So perhaps it refers less to the sharing economy and more to peers and business partners sharing ideas and experiences with each other—something that was in full swing among the thousands of attendees flooding the Expo Hall and breakout rooms at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando July 27.  

It’s the Access Economy
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.

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