Uber and Airbnb Want to Go on Vacation With Your Family
America on the Move
By almost any measure, this is shaping up to be one extremely busy summer travel season. Expedia (EXPE) CEO Peter Kern has gone so far as to predict the busiest one ever on record, as pandemic-related restrictions give way to soaring demand. Eight in 10 Americans plan to travel this summer according to travel site Vacationer. Within the US, international-traveler spending could touch $155 billion, per a study from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The same study says US domestic travel and tourism will exceed $1.1 trillion. That would be 11% higher than what was recorded pre-pandemic. One big potential vacation-season downer is dwindling supply. Expedia says it expects many top locations to sell out this summer on its home-stay platform Vrbo. For others, the rising cost of going on vacation is the biggest issue, and one that threatens to curb demand. A survey from Bankrate says 69% will be forced to adjust their travel plans as a result of inflation.
Getting You There
Uber (UBER) is looking to expand its presence in the travel space, and just rolled out a new trip-planning feature. Uber Travel lets users directly upload flight and hotel information details. This allows it to provide upfront pricing and convenience, plus Uber knows where and when it needs to schedule rides.
Regulating the supply of drivers is massively important to Uber right now, according to analysts. Rival Lyft (LYFT) saw its share price tumble earlier this month after announcing it would need to invest in new incentive programs in order to bring on new drivers. Uber said it won’t need to take similar steps, and previously invested in new technology aimed at managing its driver supply.
A Place to Stay
If Vrbo’s supply is constrained, rival Airbnb (ABNB) affirms it’s there to fill the void. The company says although it expects massive demand this summer, it isn’t close to any sellouts. Airbnb is also rolling out three new features called Categories, Split Stays, and AirCover.
Broadly speaking, Categories gives guests the ability to view different kinds of homes that are for rent, Split Stays uses two different rental properties to extend a single visit, and AirCover is a travel insurance type of product. Airbnb says the features will all help the company gain better control over its supply.
Many Americans are ready to go on vacation this summer, and two companies closely associated with hitting the road are looking to come along for the ride.
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