Love it or hate it, the sharing economy cannot be ignored –
and its impact on travel is growing. Enabled by online and mobile technology, an
explosion of innovative marketplaces, including Uber and Airbnb, connect
individuals who have a good or service to offer with other people who want to
make use of it. Variously dubbed the peer, people, collaborative, on-demand gig
or rental economy, the phenomenon has spread rapidly across markets and
From spare bedrooms and private homes to rides, meals and
local tours, anyone can now act as a DIY taxi service, host, chef or tour guide.
To many, the sharing economy empowers a generation of microentrepreneurs and
makes it possible to leverage – and profit from – underutilized resources. To businesses
and individuals negatively affected by sharing economy startups, the newcomers
illegally bypass regulations, provide low-wage jobs and create unfair
competition for properly licensed professionals. However, amid ongoing
controversy and political and legal challenges, consumers and investors are
propelling these startups into the stratosphere.
This article provides an update on the sharing economy.
Despite the challenges, the on-demand market continues to grow, and its
influence on the travel industry has just begun.
- The Rapid, Controversial Rise of the Sharing Economy
- Innovation in Action
- Travel + Sharing