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Hilton hotels senior executive dismisses Airbnb as a 'lodging' company; says Hilton is more about hospitality

Hilton hotels' chief marketing officer Geraldine Calpin has called Airbnb a lodging company and claims it can provide better service than the room rental business.

When asked by CNBC's "Marketing Media Money" TV anchor Carolin Roth how she responds to the likes of Airbnb, given that hotel chains can be seen as big and anonymous, she said: "We are in the business of people serving people. We're in hospitality, which is in some ways a little different than some of the more new entrants that are into more lodging. We offer consistency in the brand, we offer security."

"You know when you are going to stay in a Hampton by Hilton or a Hilton you know what you're going to get. And we consistently ensure that we deliver that and that business of people serving people, that hospitality, the beautiful smile that you get from team members when you walk into one of our hotels is, I believe, different than some of the other new lodging companies."

The Hilton Istanbul
Hilton
The Hilton Istanbul

Airbnb still has a pretty sizable valuation, having been valued at $31 billion in 2016, versus Marriott's $39 billion, the industry's highest.

Hilton is now the world's second largest hotel chain, being knocked off the top spot when Marriott bought Starwood for $13 billion in September 2016, but in a fiercely competitive market Calpin said her focus is on her own company.

"Really it's less about worrying about what other people are doing and more about, OK, we have got fantastic brands. We've got great customer service. We've got 50 to 60 million loyalty members and it's really about ensuring that we continue to obsess about making that right," she told Roth.

RevPAR (revenue per available room) for Hilton was up 1.8 percent to $116.09 worldwide in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year, with its Waldorf Astoria brand seeing the highest growth at 7.6 percent.

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