The sharing economy looks set for success in China, despite a shaky start, says the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International. Released today (2 November) at World Travel Market London, the report says the “future is bright” for China’s sharing economy or peer-to-peer travel sector.
“The sharing economy struggled to take off in China, with ownership of goods a key goal for many Chinese consumers, as well as a lack of trust in the concept of sharing with strangers,” reveals the WTM Global Trends Report, which is celebrating its 10th edition at WTM London 2015.
However, 2014 saw a rise in the number of Chinese companies which styled themselves after Western counterparts such as Airbnb and Uber.
The sharing economy was also boosted by the number of Millennials – consumers in their 20s and early 30s – using smartphones for internet access.
“The sharing economy largely benefits urban populations where pressure on infrastructure and resources makes sharing a sustainable approach for city living,” commented the report.
Car sharing and private rentals are the most popular travel sharing sites, with local social media sites such as Weibo and WeChat used for reviews.
Tujia focuses on short-term rentals of luxury apartments, and has its listings on C-rip – a leading Chinese travel agency – as well as having a partnership with HomeAway, focusing on overseas rentals for Chinese travellers.
Carl Shepherd, Co-Founder of HomeAway, commented: “There is so much growth and competition in China’s short-term rental market that we have made the strategic decision to invest in a strong, local partner who can quickly react to the changing local market.”
Other players in the lodging market include Mayi and Xiaozhu, while taxi and car sharing are dominated by Didi/Kuaidi, taxi-hailing apps, which recently merged, and Yongche, an Uber-style rival with operations in China and overseas.
However, global sharing brands such as Airbnb and Uber have taken a while to grow, said the report. Uber started in Shanghai in February 2014 but the Chinese are gradually adopting the ride-hailing service, while most of the hosts using Airbnb in China are young urban professionals who experienced the sharing concept abroad.
World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Back in 2013, the WTM Global Trends Report reported peer-to-peer travel was the key sector that was set to boom in Europe. Two years on, that trend has taken root in China too, enabling many more Chinese to travel domestically and overseas – and potentially opening up China to international travellers.”
Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Smartphone penetration is driving the adoption of on-demand services from sharing brands in China, thanks to younger, tech-savvy consumers.
“Hong Kong has seen more unusual sharing options, such as rent-a-suitcase and hi-tech camera hire, which could transfer to mainland China.
“Other Asian countries are also dipping into the sharing economy with operations such as Tripod (carpooling) and Local Alike (experiences).”
About WTM Global Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International
Celebrating 10 years of partnership, the leading global travel event World Travel Market (WTM) and strategic global market research provider Euromonitor International are pleased to reveal the top travel trends in the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International. For ten consecutive years, the report has been at the forefront of accurately predicting major travel trends around the world, looking at how the travel industry is developing in a rapidly changing landscape. The WTM Global Travel Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International, offers an insight into to the size and shape of travel and tourism and identifies pressing industry issues, emerging brands, destinations and demographics, growth categories and consumer trends.
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
World Travel Market Events
World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.
The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.
In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.
WTM is part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM World and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Euromonitor International
Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have over 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets. We deliver market research solutions to support strategic planning for today’s increasingly international business environment. Our research offers in-depth market analysis on consumer goods and services industries worldwide, as well as economic, demographic and socio-economic data and insight on countries and consumers. Euromonitor International is headquartered in London, with regional offices in Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Dubai, Cape Town, Tokyo, Sydney and Bangalore, and has a network of over 800 analysts worldwide.