The Sharing Economy and What It Means for Owners of AccommodationAuthor: Simon St John, Founder &CEONote: if you just want a quick guide to how SwapNights.com works click here
Do you own accommodation? It might be an investment property such as a holiday house or apartment you rent short term, a small hotel or bed and breakfast, an Airbnb style or an eco-retreat, safari camp or glamping experience.
Whatever your accommodation style, you are already used to renting it to normal paying guests in the short term vacation or business accommodation market.
But did you know that there is another way to get value from your accommodation? You can use it to stay free when it comes time for you to have a holiday. That is the concept behind SwapNights.com - a fresh idea based on the ‘sharing economy’.
So what is the ‘Sharing Economy’?‘Sharing’ is the new wave transforming economies the world over. Sharing is where people do more than just sell or rent their assets – they also share them with others in return for a benefit. Think car and ride sharing or the 2.2 million bike sharing trips taken each month worldwide.
And by the way, the 'Sharing Economy' is also called ‘Collaborative Consumption’ because the sharing economy centres on collaboration as the basis for consumption between participants.
The rise of the internet has powered the sharing economy and collaborative consumption forward in recent years. No matter where you live, what you have to share or what your goals are, chances are there is a community being developed to bring like-minded people together to share.
Today, the sharing economy is worth US$220 billion-plus, so sharing is well established and widely popular (Source: Guide to Sharing, New American Dream and Shareable).
Sharing is not new: it’s one of the first lessons we learned as kids and thanks to the explosion of the internet and mobile, it has been developing rapidly through the noughties.