More than double the amount of Americans plan to use sharing economy services for their travel plans this summer compared to 2015 due to an increase in familiarity and trust, according to the second annual Allianz Travel Insurance Sharing Economy Index released today by Allianz Global Assistance USA.
The first year-on-year survey to track consumer confidence in the sharing economy market for travel planning, the analysis found that one in three Americans (36 percent) say they are likely to use sharing economy services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Uber or Lyft during their summer vacation this year. This is up from last year when just 17 percent of Americans said they were likely to use these services.
Millennials continue to lead the sharing economy trend with 65 percent aged 18-34 saying they are likely to use these services (up 37 percentage points from 2015), compared to the 33 percent aged 35-54 (up 16 points) and the 14 percent aged 55 or over (up eight percent) who are likely to use sharing economy services. Americans with an annual income of $50,000 or more (38 percent) are more likely to use sharing economy services than those with an income less than $50,000 (32 percent).
The survey found that this growth is the result of expanded familiarity and trust in the services. American millennials continue to increase in familiarity with 86 percent saying they are familiar with the sharing economy services offered (up 28 percentage points from 2015), compared to the 67 percent aged 35-54 (up 14 points) and the 49 percent aged 55 or over (up 20 points).
America is also becoming more aware of the variety of sharing economy services available with Uber topping the list with 62 percent of Americans saying they are familiar with the service (up 27 points from 2015). Airbnb is up 16 points with 35 percent familiarity and Lyft rose 19 points to 34 percent familiarity. Additionally, HomeAway (18 percent; up eight points), GetAround (11 percent; up four points) and Feastly (10 percent; up six points) all experienced growth in familiarity.
With greater familiarity also comes increased trust. The survey showed that 48 percent of Americans find sharing economy services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Uber or Lyft to be trustworthy, up four points from 2015.
When asked about which services provide the better experience, the survey found that more Americans feel the sharing economy provides better value (26 percent; up nine percent) and a more authentic local experience (22 percent; up 10 percent), however they still prefer traditional services such as online services like Expedia.com, using a travel agent, or booking directly with a hotel, restaurant or car service for providing the better overall experience (25 percent), quality product (31 percent), booking (31 percent) and customer support when things go wrong (40 percent).
"We're at an interesting intersection right now between sharing economy and traditional services," said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. "The playing field is quite level with many Americans having an uncertainty about which services provide the better experience, which opens an opportunity for the lesser known sharing economy to take a bigger stake as awareness continues to increase. There was already significant growth in use, familiarity and trust of the sharing economy over the last year showing that these services are not a fad and have great potential for longevity."
The Sharing Economy Index was established in 2015 by Allianz Global Assistance USA and is conducted each summer by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs.
Methodology: These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz from May 3 to 10, 2016. For the survey, a sample of n=2,007 Americans was interviewed online via Ipsos's American online panel. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a Bayesian credibility interval. In this case, with a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had all Americans been polled. The margin of error will be larger within sub-groupings of the survey population.