According to the song, ‘Summertime’ is the season where the living is easy. If you run a travel-related small business, however, it can be a little more complicated – especially now that a variety of new travel trends are changing the landscape. Fortunately, there’s time for your small business to adapt. Here are some insights and tips to help you do so.
Share Economy Growing
If you’ve ever used the taxi service Uber or Lyft, you’ve had a taste of the share economy – one based on people sharing their possessions in exchange for payment.
A recent Mintel study on seasonal vacation trends revealed that share-type services are cropping up everywhere to meet a variety of traveler needs. These include:
- Airbnb and Couchsurfing – help travelers find homes to stay in while vacationing.
- RelayRides and Flightcar – make use of vehicles travelers leave behind while away.
- Feastly and Eatwith – match travelers to households that provide home-cooked meals.
- Vayable and GuidedbyALocal – link travelers to people who serve as local tour guides.
If you’re in the hospitality business, the share economy can be a double-edged sword. If you provide lodging or car rentals or own a restaurant, for instance, the share economy could be a direct competitor.
On the flip side, however, it’s an economy that’s allowing travelers with tighter budgets to do more, which can be a benefit. For instance, the vacationer staying at an Airbnb home might have an extra day to try your restaurant.
As a business you make the most of the share economy by observing its trends and playing off them. If you operate a bed and breakfast, you might collaborate with Vayable and GuidedbyALocal to enrich the guest experience. Or, you might advocate for Uber or Lyft – inexpensive transportation modes that leave more money in vacationer’s pockets to extend their stay.
Summer Still King
According to Mintel, Summer is still the most popular vacation season in the US, with more people taking vacations of a week or longer (40%), compared to other seasons. What’s more, 82% of those surveyed plan to take at least one vacation for the upcoming summer, compared with 52% planning a winter vacation.
One good indicator for business owners in any season is the fact that vacationers are planning to take around 25% more vacations in each season next year than they did in the past.
The Mintel study also revealed that while workers still plan to take vacations, a significant amount of them aren’t using all of it. Or, they’re using a portion of their vacation to stay in touch with – or keep up at – work.
This means that Internet access, typically shunned during vacation, has become a necessity for some. In fact, up to 18% of those who take vacations admit to doing some amount of Internet-dependent work while away. As a resort owner, you’d do well to consider offering Wi-Fi to accommodate these individuals, even if they don’t use it.
Another tactic you might employ is limited Wi-Fi access at specific times during the day. This way, vacationers can separate leisure time and work. Limited connectivity could even become a selling point for certain types of vacations, where the focus is on restoring and strengthening relationships.
Summing Up Summer
The combination of a new share economy and a dedicated workforce are making business owners rethink how they market their products and services. Fortunately, these new developments are taking place slowly. So as a business owner, you have time to adapt and make the most of it.