The exponential growth of online marketplaces over the past few years has been no short of an unpredicted phenomenon. The growth of the marketplace economy led by sharing economy companies is set to double between 2017 and 2022, growing from $19billion to $40billion. Beyond well known ecommerce marketplace brands like eBay, Amazon, Airbnb, Uber or Grubhub, marketplace models are disrupting just about every traditional industry. The travel industry is no exception. Peer-to-peer marketplaces for travel are on the rise and here to stay.
The idea is simple. If a traveller cannot go on a trip—due to an illness or other issue—there are marketplaces where they can sell the pre-paid hotel reservation to another traveller who is going to the same place at the same time. The sellers can recoup some of the cost of the non-refundable reservation, and buyers purchase a discounted room.
Have you lost money because you could not travel and had a non-refundable flight or a hotel reservation? You are not alone. Millions of people lose money on their unused travel bookings every year because they are not aware of any safe and hassle-free ways to resell their reservations. Finally, SpareFare.net has found a solution to this problem. SpareFare is an online platform connecting people who have bought flights, holiday packages or hotel rooms but can no longer use them, with people seeking discounted travel options.
By transferring their booked non-refundable reservations to SpareFare buyers, sellers are able to partially or fully recover the money they paid for the trips, while buyers get a true discount of up to 50-60% by not paying the current price of the bookings. The platform offers fraud protection to both buyers and sellers and dramatically reduces the risk of transferring flights, hotel rooms and holidays to strangers by acting as an intermediary.
In a way, SpareFare is like StubHub or Viagogo but specifically designed for travel and without the ticket touters. Travel reservations, by their nature, are very different to event tickets. Event tickets are only a limited number, the number of events are very few in a year and many times fans greatly outnumber the available tickets. So concert ticket touters know that their tickets will be purchased by desperate fans. Travel is very different. There are many flights by various carriers and travellers have an enormous choice. If a flight with a given airline is too expensive, the traveller can choose a different carrier, they can fly at a different time during the day, they can fly on a completely different day, or event to a different destination. So if a ticket touter is selling a flight expensively, travellers just will not buy the tickets because of the sheer variety of travel options. It is the same for hotels – if a touter is trying to sell a hotel room very expensively, the buyer will simply make a booking with the hotel next door.
This is an excellent ideas which fills in a much-needed gap in the travel market and makes travellers’ lives a little easier.