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Sharing Economy in the Tourist Sector
2020-05-28 00:00:00

GIS-Transfer Center Foundation together with partners Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche ( leading partner from Italy), Cambra de Comerc Mallorca (Spain) and Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tchnologia e Ciencia (Portugal) are working on a concept for the shared economy (SE) in tourism in the European Union - within a project #77971 TouriSMEshare, funded by COSME programme, Contract No SI2.763549.

The main idea is to bring out the advantages of the shared economy for the development of SMEs in the tourism services, as well to stimulate appearances of new services motivated to introduce to a larger public cultural and historical heritage in Europe.

Main specify of the SME in SE is that SMEs collaborate to share their resources (financial, materials, human, etc.) for providing better complex services that have the potential to cover larger scale of different tourists’ needs. Therefore, the SE is characterized with two types of profit and benefits - economic and social. SE itself is not a new appearance in the society. People are used to share various resources of a long period ago: some of the well-known ones are sharing books, movies, technical machines and even their apartments or houses when it is not used by the owners. So, the idea of ”sharing things” is not at all new for the people’s mentality in many countries, but the new is the type of communication which requires a new organization. This new organization is based on the development of IT sector and especially development of platforms, which are nowadays one of the important and popular channel for communication.

The project focuses on the current understanding of SE, new organization of function of SMEs – providing services and their customers – tourists, the role of the platforms for SMEs in SE and to identify and determine their advantages and negatives. Important issue of the project is to analyses main factors that ensure effective or not- effective collaboration between the three SE actors: services providers (SMEs), customers (tourists) and IT platforms (companies creating and supporting information about services and the needs of the customers).

Based on about 60 project activities – paper reviews, project empirical studies, data collection and research analysis about SMEs behavior and motivation to be a partners of SE, discussions with all three type of SE actors, trainings, presentations, seminars and exchanging good practice, the project presented that the SE creates conditions for stimulating innovation and peopele’s entrepreneurship, it increases the resilience of emerging innovative enterprises, expands social contacts and generally creates a balance in the professional commitment of the individual between commitments and satisfaction. The result of the SE function in the tourism is not only the well-known and popular conditions for sharing accommodation like Airbnb, Booking and others; sharing transport (UBER, TaxiMe, Bolt…), but also the SE helps people to form their social groups of common interests and style of life, such as - visiting little-known specific tourist sites for extreme and risky experiences, getting acquainted with exotic forms of living, knowledge about food and cuisine, little known specific ethic traditions, etc. The project results revealed that SE also has a great capacity for professional community development and entrepreneurship in tourism and could be very effective of streamlining the leisure time. SE reflects on forming the sense of community and sense of responsibility, sense of professional loyalty.

As a result of the joint activity of the four partners, we created mechanisms for: assessment of the needs of SMEs to implement an innovative management models in conditions with integrated resources, which aim is to increase the capacity of all partners; we have created conditions for direct contact with existing platforms in tourism and conditions for sharing successful business models and marketing strategies; a network of SMEs operating in a SE became increasingly recognizable internationally. In parallel to factors stimulating SE in tourism, the project reveled some barriers that we grouped as following: regulatory and fiscal barriers, financial barriers, barriers to market access, cultural barriers most important of which relates to the level of trust between partners.

More information could be found on the project website: https://tourismeshare.eu/ or by contacting us through e-mail: office@gis-tc.org

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