U.S. Travelers & the Sharing Economy

H2R Market Research, in partnership with Magellan Strategy Group and the CenStates Travel & Tourism Research Association, recently conducted primary research to find the impact of the sharing economy on travel destinations. The sharing economy has seen growth in the travel industry in recent years and is not yet fully understood. What we do know is that the sharing economy is a socio-economic ecosystem where owners rent out something they are not using—such as a car, house, room or bicycle—to a stranger using online peer-to-peer services. But what does that mean for businesses and consumers in the travel and tourism industry?

Initial findings show that the sharing economy model is a comparatively new concept for most people. Less than one year ago, Pew Research reported that only 27% of Americans were familiar with the concept of a sharing economy. But, like many things these days, awareness has grown nearly as fast as PokémonGo. Today, nearly 60% of U.S. travelers are now familiar with the concept of the sharing economy. And, more than 20% of U.S. travelers are open to using the sharing economy for their travel needs.

Airbnb boasts the greatest top of mind awareness, but it is Uber that has the highest rates of aided recognition and usage. And, users are quite satisfied with these services. All 19 sharing economy brands evaluated in this study earned above 4.0 satisfaction ratings). 

Past users of the sharing economy skew toward Millennials (under 34), men and those with above average household incomes. Perhaps most interesting is that Sharing Lodge Users spend 13% more per party on their trip, but they also acknowledge the good value of shared lodging resources. Recent reports have shown that major cities are losing tax revenue from sharing lodgers and that sharing economy users. But, they may just be spending their money elsewhere throughout the destinationeven more so than their non-sharing counterparts. For more results, visit www.SharingImpact.com.