Next year’s holidaymakers are four times as likely to opt for the security of a package holiday than choose a sharing economy option, reveals research released today Monday 1 November) by WTM London.
Almost a third (32%) of those thinking about an overseas holiday in 2022 are most likely to book a package holiday, compared to 8% who will book through a sharing economy site, such as Airbnb, reveals the WTM Industry Report, which polled 1,000 UK consumers.
Holidaymakers from some parts of the country, including North Wales or the North East, say they would not book a sharing economy option at all, while those in the South West (21%), Greater London (14%) and Yorkshire and Humber (13%) are the most likely to book an Airbnb-type stay.
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, takes place over the next three days (Monday 1 November – Wednesday 3 November) at ExCeL – London.
Sharing economy bookings soared 73% between 2013 and 2014, with PwC forecasting it could account for 50% of holiday accommodation by 2025. However, there have long been concerns in the travel industry about sharing economy regulation, with then-Chairman of ABTA, Noel Josephides, raising the issue 15 years ago.
Sharing economy accommodation providers reported surges in bookings at the beginning of the pandemic as travellers shunned hotels for private homes. But some say COVID variants have seen bookings decline lately, with Airbnb expecting weaker booking volumes and warning 2021 will remain below 2019 levels.
Meanwhile, the constant chopping and changing caused by the UK Government’s traffic light system has highlighted the benefits of booking an ATOL-protected package holiday through a reputable company, with many operators and agents changing policies to allow for more flexibility for holidaymakers who want to swap to a difference destination or date.
To counteract the drop – and to capitalise on the work-from-anywhere trend, Airbnb launched a ‘Live Anywhere on Airbnb’ initiative in June, offering a year of free stays, for users who share their experiences. It comes as the accommodation provider said stays of 28 days or more increased in the first quarter of 2021.
WTM London Exhibition Director Simon Press said: “The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on people’s choices on what type of accommodation they feel comfortable booking, with package holiday companies pushing the benefits of ATOL protection and flexible bookings, although it’s fair to say the likes of Airbnb also now offer more flexibility, should people change their minds.
“When the sharing economy was in its infancy, providers such as Airbnb brought a fresh perspective on stays, with the emphasis on independence and individuality. But hotels have caught up, focusing on less-ridged rules, such as early check-ins, late check-outs and less-stuffy communal areas.
“Also, many places where sharing economy properties do well are in very popular tourist areas where there is a shortage of traditional hotels. But, given that COVID has shut down so much of the world in the last 18 months, that’s not currently a problem.
“Finally, after months of being told to stay indoors, most of us are fed up with having to fend for ourselves, so the thought of booking a hotel where there’s a choice of new and exciting dishes, cooked by someone else, certainly appeals to those of us who just want someone else to wait on them for a couple of weeks.”
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. In 2020, WTM Virtual facilitated 20,000+ meetings and held 42 live content sessions over the 3-days show.
Next live event: Monday 1 to 3 November 2021 at ExCel London
Next WTM Virtual: Monday 8 to 9 November 2021 – Virtual
Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique.
Next live event: Monday 1 November to Wednesday 3 November 2021 at ExCel London
Next Travel Forward Virtual: Monday 8 November to Tuesday 9 November 2021 – Virtual
London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.
Next event: Friday 29 October – Friday 5 November 2021
WTM Virtual, is the WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.
WTM Latin America takes place annually in São Paulo and attracts around 19,000 tourism professionals during a three-day event. The show offers qualified content, as well as networking and business opportunities. In its ninth edition – the first 100% virtual – WTM Latin America followed its focus on effective business generation and reached the milestone of 4,200 meetings held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors.
Next event: Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 April 2022 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.
Next event: Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 April 2022 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 29th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2021 showcased over 1,300 exhibiting companies from 62 countries across nine halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, with visitors from more than 140 countries over the four days. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #IdeasArriveHere
Next in-person event: Sunday 8 to Wednesday 11 May 2022, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai https://www.wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html
Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2022. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ATM Virtual, ILTM Arabia, Arival Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, as well as Travel Forward. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country summits.
WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub. https://hub.wtm.com/
About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.rxglobal.com
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RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*
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