Peer-to-peer fails to excite British travellers, but the industry is worried

Peer-to-peer fails to excite British travellers, but the industry is worried

Peer-to-peer fails to excite British travellers, but the industry is worried

The sharing or peer-to-peer economy is failing to have any significant impact on the travel habits of UK holidaymakers, reveals the World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report released Monday 6 November at WTM London.

Furthermore, the influence of the sector has not grown during the past few years, despite the efforts by brands such as Uber and Airbnb to become more mainstream.

The latest edition of the report found that 12% of the 1,000 travellers polled have booked accommodation or travel / transport via a peer-to-peer website during the past year.

Of those who have booked accommodation, 86% said they would do so again. But for those who’ve used peer-to-peer for transportation, only 38% would repeat the experience.

The future for sharing accommodation is also subdued, the report finds. When asked, around one-third of travellers (31%) said they would consider it as an option. However, around two-thirds (62%) have no interest in the sharing economy for accommodation or transportation.

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WTM London first asked UK holidaymakers about the sharing economy in the 2014 report. At the time, only 9% of the population has booked accommodation through peer-to-peer sites, 86% of whom said they would do so again.

In 2015, the question was expanded to include peer-to-peer transport by including Uber in the list and the proportion of users from the sample dropped to 3%.

The following year 12% said they had used Airbnb and 6% took an Uber. The findings for 2017 are similar.

In contrast, the industry has become more negative about the sharing economy’s impact on their business. Four in ten (38%) of the travel professionals polled for this year’s report said its influence was negative, compared with 32% in 2016.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson said: “When we first asked British holidaymakers about shared economy in 2014 the sector was quite new in the UK and we expected the proportion of Brits considering sharing economy options to increase.

“That has not happened, yet. The satisfaction levels from existing users is strong, but the big names in the sector need to think more about how to persuade the majority of British travellers that they have something to offer.”

eTN is a media partner for WTM.

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