The Spotlight: How Will the Sharing Economy Change Travel?
No doubt you’ve heard about the sharing economy—the model by which people rent everything from city apartments and cars to bikes, boats, and sports equipment. Companies like Uber and Airbnb are some of the biggest players, though the peer-to-peer model has sired innumerable start-ups as well as reconfigured the business plans of established corporations.
And, according to Fortune’s senior editor Christopher Tkaczyk, the peer-to-peer model has become a revolutionary force (and permanent fixture) for the travel industry in particular.
“[There’s] a growing need … for having individualized, unique experiences,” Tkazcyk explains, noting that travelers—especially millennials—are seeking local, personalized travel plans that large companies and chains can’t seamlessly provide.
According to a recent study by Goldman Sachs, 60 percent of travelers who have stayed in Airbnbs would prefer them in the future to traditional hotels.
That's because, in addition to offering an alternative to cookie-cutter hotels and resorts, peer-to-peer services are generally more affordable, making it easier than ever for budget-conscious travelers to maximize their travel dollars. Plus, guests in a home rental can also make longstanding relationships with their hosts—people truly poised to introduce you to their hometown or city.
“[People] recognize that the unique, custom travel experience is more fun,” Tkazcyk adds. Check out the full video, above.