Travel is an experience that excites the human soul. It gives us memories for lifetime and stories to recite the future generations. The earliest man was a nomad and travelled all his life. But due to the complexity of our society we are rooted to particular part of the world. With all the advancement in technology travel has never been easier than before.
We have super fast transport to travel and a good network to communicate with every nook and corner of the world. This has given us the opportunity that none of the prior generations had the ability to travel far and wide.
Tourism is a whole new industry with millions of people depending on it for survival. However travelling to every place in the world is not that simple and it is quite expensive too. Food, place of stay and travelling in that local area are some of the major expenditure apart from travelling to that place.
Sharing economy is the combined name for peer-to-peer economy on demand economy. Since the beginning of the 20th century various companies have started building themselves in this model.
They have been disruptors in various sectors like food travel transportation and services. The reason for sharing economy to thrive is affordability, ease of availability and comfort to avail them whenever and wherever required.
Sharing economy effects on travel sector:
The effect of this on travel sector is huge and widespread. It has made travel and accommodation cheaper and accessible to every backpacker.
The biggest players of on demand companies are Airbnb and uber.
Airbnb initially began with the notion air, bed and breakfast. It was founded in the year 2008. The company acts as an online marketplace for listing rentals on short term basis.
The rentals can be anything from condos to the additional room in your house. The hosts who list their properties on the platform can set the rates according to the property. This caused a lot of attraction since it would help in gaining monetary benefits through the un-used assets.
Similarly the travelers who cannot afford costly hotels to stay can choose property which is decent enough and at a price which they can afford.
To ensure the quality of the stay places on the platform, the company has rating and review system. All details regarding the amenities and availability of services are specified beforehand.
So accommodation has been greatly influenced by the sharing economy making it cheaper and affordable.
Wimdu is the other major competitor for Airbnb based in Berlin operating as peer-to-peer rental property.
However the road has not been very smooth for the companies as they are said to flaunt the regulatory norms of standard hotels and tax payment.
The governments and in general public have concerns regarding the safety of the guests and the hosts.
Nonetheless the companies have managed themselves to expand far and wide. Airbnb is present in 191 countries and around 34,000 cities.
While we are still thinking about sharing economies effects on leisurely travel they have started a separate segment for business travel too.
Airbnb has created a separate dashboard for executive who book rental properties for business stays. The company has specific conditions for rental properties which will be let for executive stay. It is currently used by 5 thousand business travelers across the globe since its launch in July 2015. Airbnb has partnered with concur, business travel and expense management service for further increasing its market.
Prior to Airbnb the primitive online market place to find a place to stay was couchsurfing. Through this members can stay in a host’s house for a short-term. Began as a not for profit organization and has now turned itself into for profit organization. While the site has been popularily stated as the one for dating over the internet, the platform completely tries to avoid it by stating it as harassment.
Planning tours and vacations
Vayable started as a marketplace for tours such as a private jet over Berlin or a walk through the New York street art. The company however now has moved to the custom tours and vacations.
So now customers can get tourist guides through this market, so there are a lot guides on the website through which the travelers can choose the one which matches their prize. There are around 5,000 guides available in 500 cities across the globe.
Customers fill a survey to specify their interest and they get linked to the guide on vayable. The platform gets a commission of 15 percent over what the guide charges. The CEO of the company Wong says at present the average charge of the guides stands at $250 whereas on ground they charge how much ever they want.
In the future the platform also tries to get hotel bookings through it and charge 15 to 30 percent commission.
Currently the platform charges $45 as development fee for registration even if a travel plan is not made.
As all of us are aware we can get a taxi to travel through the cities from on demand taxi aggregators like Uber or Lyft. Uber is available in more than 60 countries. There are online market places which give rental cars and get a ride with someone who is travelling in the same route and a seat to accommodate an additional person.
The ride sharing or car pooling is available in almost every country across the world. So when you travel to a new country or place you can use any one of them to commute.
Some popular companies’ Carma and side car of US, BlaBla car is the biggest name in this sector which is the largest long-distance ride shring company. It is present in 22 countries in the world. Therefore, When you want to move from one city to another just check out this platform to travel with someone going in the same route.
Knok is another upcoming platform providing peer to peer accommodation for family travelers.
Travel industry reaction
Though sharing economy is growing fast it has started the surface of the potential it can offer to travelers. The travel industry has started understanding the profound effect this can have on the well established industries.
The travel companies have started understanding they need to innovate and come out of the rigid structure the companies are operating with.
Positive effects of sharing economy:
It is a job generator for the local people involved and helped in the growth of local economy. Places which were not considered tourist attraction earlier are now being explored through all the available platforms.
Instead trying to find faults in the operational methods governments should start framing legal rules for these companies. This should be done without hurting the operations of the companies and providing safety to the people involved.
To all the people who still believe that sharing economy is just a passing thing have to take a look at the these companies valuation
Uber $18.2 billion
Airbnb $13 billion
Lyft $2.5 billion
These are just some of the major companies. There are a whole bunch of start-ups building themselves to reach higher levels.
Anand Rajendran is CEO and Co-Founder of Dectar, best PHP scripts development company located in India. Dectar is a part of Casperon Technologies a leading social and mobile development company which is Developing Uber for X apps like Couriero – On Demand Delivery Services App for the past 3 years. I’m a Tech geek, Digital marketing expert, Entrepreneur, and Atheist who loves to write everything about PHP Scripts and mobile application development.