Peer-to-peer, or sharing economy, platforms are vital to American travelers and consumers. These findings are highlighted in a nationwide consumer survey commissioned jointly by the Travel Technology Association and the Internet Association. The continuous growth and widespread popularity of these platforms is undeniable:
- Approximately 1 in 2 Americans report engaging in the peer-to-peer economy in 2015 (46%), up 144% from 19% as reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers in December 2014. Specifically:
- Approximately 1 in 4 report engaging short-term rental platforms (23%), up 277% from 6%.
- Approximately 1 in 4 report engaging ridesharing platforms (28%), up 249% from 8%.
“The rapid growth of sharing economy platforms is a testament to the unique power of the Internet and innovation to better the lives of individuals and grow our economy,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman.
Moreover, “Unlike other emerging technologies, growth in the peer-to-peer sector is spread across demographics,” says Travel Tech President Steve Shur. “For instance, short-term renting isn’t just for Millennials. We found usage to be distributed evenly across ages.”
The millions who utilize these platforms are members of a broader culture shift where users look to the sharing economy to move around town, find a place to stay when traveling, do household work, and have food delivered at the press of a button. Findings revealed interaction with one app dramatically increases user inclination to engage others:
- Ridesharing passengers (38%) and drivers (44%) as well as short-term rental guests (47%) are respectively 65%, 91%, and 68% more likely than the average American to participate in the other ecosystem.
- 1 in 2 ridesharing passengers (50%) and short-term rental guests (57%) find the service for accommodations/ridesharing valuable or extremely valuable and are more likely to do so by 34% and 59%, respectively.
- Most ridesharing passengers (73%) and short-term rental guests (62%) plan to utilize services in the other category in the next two years and are more likely than the average American to report this by 52% and 37%, respectively.
- Many ridesharing drivers (31%) and short-term rental hosts (24%) plan on becoming providers on the accommodations/ridesharing platform in the next two years and are more likely than the average American to report this by 182% and 101%, respectively.
Whether booking a stay on HomeAway, Airbnb, and Flipkey, riding with Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, or interacting with the plethora of other peer-to-peer options, Americans are deriving immense value by interacting with multiple peer-to-peer platforms.
- 9 out of 10 previous ridesharing passengers and short-term rental guests rate peer-to-peer services as valuable or extremely valuable (both 89%).
- Of more than 1,000 respondents, no previous guest rated the impact of short-term rental as negative.
- Becoming a guest reverses opinions on short-term rental: 26% of non-users would be less inclined to visit a city if short-term rentals were banned, a number that increases by a 127% to 59% for previous guests.
- 9 out of 10 previous ridesharing passengers and short-term rental guests plan to use these platforms again soon: respectively, 91% and 88% anticipate they or a family member will engage in the next two years.
As more and more Americans engage with, find value in, and ultimately return to these peer-to-peer platforms, it’s imperative that local, state, and federal policymakers recognize the incredible value this dynamic industry brings to travelers and communities large and small, urban and rural. The peer-to-peer industry is committed to working together with lawmakers on smart public policy that embraces innovation and makes American communities stronger.