Travel Agents Have Advantages Over Trusted Sharing Economy Services

Allianz survey reveals that consumers find value in the sharing economy and quality in travel agents By: Mindy Poder
The survey looks at the use of the sharing economy and traditional travel services. // © 2016 iStock
The survey looks at the use of the sharing economy and traditional travel services. // © 2016 iStock

The Details

Allianz Travel Insurance

Survey results from Allianz Travel Insurance’s second-annual Sharing Economy Index demonstrate that most Americans believe traditional services provide better experiences, but one in three Americans are likely to use sharing economy services this year — more than double the amount in 2015.

Why It Matters:
Survey respondents said that services such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and HomeAway offer better value and a more authentic local experience, but that traditional options — such as a travel agent — provide better overall experiences, quality products and customer support when things go wrong. Nonetheless, as sharing economy services become more familiar, they become more trusted. Agents should stay ahead of the trend by providing tips on how to use these services to interested clients.

Fast Facts:
- Trust in these sharing economy services is up to 48 percent, a 4 percent increase since last year.

- Familiarity is up across age groups, though millennials are showing the greatest familiarity at 86 percent (up 28 points from last year).

- Consumers aged 35 to 54 are up 14 points for 67 percent familiarity, and consumers aged 55 and over are up 20 points for 49 percent.

- At 62 percent familiarity, Uber is the most well-known of all the services.

- In addition to travel agents, traditional options surveyed about included online services such as, using a travel agent or booking directly with a hotel, restaurant or car service.

- 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.

What They Are Saying:
“We’re at an interesting intersection right now between sharing economy and traditional services,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications for 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.”