This is a clear sign that the sharing economy isn’t in its infancy anymore.
Metasearch sites such as Kayak, Hipmunk, Trivago, TripAdvisor and Tripping have a lot of heavy lifting to do because consumers will increasingly be demanding better ways to comparison-shop for alternative accommodations that are often unique and difficult to define. All things being equal -- and they aren't -- that's a big market opportunity for these sites.
2016 is shaping up to be the year that everyone revolts against boring meetings, and many event owners, meeting planners, and hospitality executives are paying attention.
Peek boasts that it provides a great booking experience on both desktop and mobile devices, which at this stage in the game is a must if tours and activities platforms hope to keep pace with consumer demands and behavior.
Many companies are realizing that they cannot ignore the habits of their business travelers, but approval of the sharing economy is far from universal.
Even as CEOs of major hotel chains argue that Airbnb doesn't threaten their bottom lines, the projection that some short-term rental companies will have higher room sales than some hotels by 2020 makes their footing less secure.
With Airbnb apparently adversely impacting hotels much more than online travel agencies, Hotwire is poised to make some gains as hotels try to fill rooms. But Hotwire also has to fend off Priceline.com, which is emphasizing Express Deals that basically use the same model as Hotwire.
As the vacation rental industry grows up, the gap between those players embracing modern ways of operating and the rest is widening. Given the high expectations of today’s travelers and the leg up provided by digital tools, this divide will widen and the savvier operators will quickly dominate.
The $100 billion industry vacation rental sector could be going into over-drive as it attracts growing interest from investors, major hospitality brands and travelers seeking alternate accommodations.
We'll be interested to see how riders, drivers, and competitors react to this move by Lyft.