Vacation Rental Industry has been growing rapidly over the last few years. According to research by Futurestay, global vacation rental market is expected to worth $169.7 million, up from $100 million about three years ago. Gigantic players like Airbnb, Booking.com and Expedia have contributed majorly to the growth of this industry, changing the way people travel completely.
Young adults are the prime customers of the vacation rental industry. According to a study by VRMintel, about 74% of travellers between the ages of 18 to 34 have used a vacation rental service. Compared to that, the service was only used by 34% of Gen X and 20% baby boomers. It is predicted that the industry will only grow more as Gen Z people grow old enough to plan their own travel.
Taking advantage of the young crowd who prefers to travel more responsibly, who cares for the community development and the environment, the industry giants have introduced a way to participate in the community development with the help of these young and energetic customers.
Airbnb has launched social impact experiences in its app. The social impact experiences include unique activities such as hiking organized by a non-profit, or volunteering for animal welfare activities or participating in a surf therapy program for youth affected by trauma or violence. The company waives off their fees for these experiences helping the non-profits to raise more money. According to Airbnb, some of the participating non-profits have managed to earn more than $50,000 in a year through these experiences. Apart from this, the nonprofits are also getting much-needed exposure because of the guest reviews on various social media platforms.
To support innovations in sustainable tourism, Booking.com has launched a series of programs including the Booking Cares Fund, Labs and Booster. They provide startups, NGOs, and other groups with education and financial assistance to make significant improvements in the social impact of travel.
According to a study conducted by Booking.com in 2018, about 47% of travellers were inspired to select more sustainable travel options after seeing the positive effect of sustainable travel on the local people. Travel is considered to be therapeutic by many people. Combination of social change with travel will not only be beneficial to the local community but also for the travellers.
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The CSR Journal Team