Love the sharing economy? You’re probably over 65

If we asked you to think of people who use the sharing economy, who would you suggest? Young, 20-somethings staying in a trendy Copenhagen flat, perhaps? Whoever you’ve just thought of, we can bet it’s probably not a British silver surfer, or, more specifically, those over the age of 65.
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However, this demographic is one of the key groups driving online searches for the sharing economy, which allows people to rent items such as a house or car for short periods rather than buy them.
According to a Bing report into Britons’ summer travel plans, people aged over 65 in the UK are becoming hooked on the sharing economy, with searches increasing by more than 170% in January 2016 compared with a year earlier – nearly double the growth of those aged 25 to 34. Looking at the industry more broadly, Bing Network search data from the past year showed search volume for the “sharing economy” grew by 70% in 2016, compared with a year earlier – that’s the fastest growing sector in the “lodgings” category, surpassing  “cottages”, “accommodation” and even “hotels”.

Research published by PwC estimated that the UK sharing economy was worth £500 million in 2014. It is predicted to grow to £9 billion by 2025. Nesta research estimated that 25% of the UK population participates in the sharing economy online.

Minal Fofaria, Head of EMEA Insights at Bing, said: “We’ve seen a steep rise in the popularity of the sharing economy, which is now viewed as a viable alternative to a hotel, or villa across all ages. There is an opportunity for marketers, in the wealth of information and insights such as these travel findings that search data unlocks, to help understand behavioural shifts and ensure you are capturing relevant audiences with the right content.”
So what influences Brits to book a holiday? First, we turn to our mobile phones, with 38% of all UK travel searches last summer made on smartphones or tablets. Going back to work with post-weekend blues could also drive Brits to buy travel packages, with such searches peaking on a Monday and Tuesday. And, perhaps after a weekend on the sofa, television shows are a potential contributing factor to the destination decisions for UK holiday makers, with areas such as Tenerife, one of the locations for the BBC’s recent show The Night Manager, soaring in searches for flights to the destination.