This year at ITB the Sharing Economy was omnipresent in presentations and panel discussions. An increase of Global Revenue for the most prominent sharing economy sectors (P2P finance, online staffing, P2P accommodation, car sharing and music/video streaming) is expected from $20 billion in 2014 to $335 billion in 2025.
Unfortunately I had the feeling that most presenters at ITB limited the Sharing Economy to AirBnB and Uber and its disruptive force. These companies are just the leading edge of a broader global phenomenon. April Rinne, Sharing Economy Advisor, gave a keynote and showed how collaborative consumption goes far beyond those tow companies: the Sharing Economy creates a new form of tourism and travelling altogether.
As we know, tourism zones are not necessarily where the most interesting things in a city are happening. Different services like Jobbatical, Flightcar, Key Café and Feastly give travelers access to this new world and tourism will go much deeper into the city as before. Through these new services, travel priorities of many people will be met more easily than by traditional tourism. Travellers can find and connect with more things and people than ever before and give them the feeling to be part of a global community. This should leave the city a better place: more connective, resilient and sustainable.
According to April Rinne, the Sharing Economy is based on three principles:
The Sharing economy enables owners to monetise their assets (physical goods or time) by “renting” them, effectively avoiding the cost and complexity of ownership and/or transferring time intensive activities to those with excess availability of time.
Social technologies radically disrupted communications, marketing, and customer care. The very same technologies, now help people bypassing existing institutions and sharing products and services.
Relationship & Trust
Trust, constitutes the currency of a new collaborative economy, asserting that “reputation capital creates a massive positive disruption in who has power, influence and trust.
According to those priciples, we can also see first attempts from rail travellers to benefit from collaborative consumption: People can join a community to benefit from group discounts, buy and sell unused tickets or choose seat according to the travelers’ profiles. We can expect that this is just the beginning and we will see new services soon which will open opportunities for railways but also challenge their current strategies.