Travel companies have been urged to adapt to the sharing economy – or face missing out on considerable opportunities.
Benita Matofska, founder of The People Who Share told delegates at the ITT Conference that in 2017, travel and tourism contributed $8.3 trillion to the global economy. “The sharing economy contributed $2 trillion – and it’s only a few years old.”
She also pointed out that the sharing economy was not just the preserve of the young, highlighting statistics which showed 28% of people aged over 50 had used a sharing economy service.
“Also, 24% of sharing economy service providers are 55+, and participation rates of 55+ grew by 375% in 2017,” she said. “Every business can and should participate."
Matofska said there were five key ways travel businesses wanting to enter the sharing economy should consider: Firstly partnering with someone – “think about who you could partner with to connect and trade with the crowd – who needs your assets?”
“Secondly, how could you enable peer-to-peer activity? Who could you connect your customers with to offer a unique experience? Thirdly – crowdsourcing, how can you involve the crowd with you brand?
“Fourth is ‘acquire’ – which sharing economy brand that’s already out there could enhance your offer? And lastly, consider the community – how could you become a community hub for your customers?”
Matofska added to delegates: “We’ve seen that people want to connect. Participation in the sharing economy is expected to double by 2020 – the question is, will you be part of it?”