Reports indicate that the travel industry has been negatively impacted by economic downturns happening across the globe. However, the financial crisis has not stopped many people from taking vacations; they just take them in a smarter fashion. Collaborative consumption is a significant paradigm shift from consumers’ preference for ownership to one of having timely access to needed goods and services. Here are some examples of items currently available for collaborative consumption that are likely to have far reaching impacts on the travel industry.
Show Hospitality By Lodging Guests
Somewhere along the way the idea of a bed and breakfast establishment gave way to everyday people offering up their homes or extra space within their homes to travel weary pilgrims. Now traditional lodging establishments have taken notice of emerging trends of house swapping networks that allow home owners around the world to gain access to comfortable, private housing in desirable vacation destinations.
#Vacation – House Swapping, first worldwide network since 1997, 40,000 listings in 120 countries: https://www.homeexchange.com/en/
— Property Real Estate (@propertysearch1) April 28, 2013
Moonlighting As A Tour Guide
Leisure travellers choose areas to visit that provide an array of interesting activities or some historic interest. Becoming a local guide in a tourist hot spot is one way for knowledgeable natives to participate in the tourist industry and earn extra income. An easy way for people to tap into this income source is by registering with established collaborative consumption concepts like Withlocals.com. This site brings various people with similar interests together for fun, platonic outings.
Provide Quality Meals
A segment of the collaborative consumption market that is just emerging involves meals. An Indian company named Langhar invites people to open up their kitchens, break out their favorite recipes, and become amateur chefs for travellers. Instead of visitors spending money at commercial restaurants, they get a home cooked meal that is often more representative of the region’s culture than a restaurant meal. Even before the idea of collaborative consumption kitchens became acceptable, the elements of food sharing had taken root in many areas in the form of community gardens.
A number of variables could have contributed to the popularity of the collaborative consumption phenomenon including the global economic downturn, environmental consciousness and trends toward resource conservation, or even the advent of social media. The one thing that is certain is that collaborative consumption ideas coupled with advancements in information technology tools creates future strategic opportunities for both adventurous individuals as well as seasoned travel organizations that can adapt