European Cities Marketing sets out to explore the impact of the sharing economy on city tourism during its annual meeting. The so-called sharing economy or connected economy is not only challenging the well established business models of city tourism, but it is also presenting great challenges and opportunities to city planners, managers and marketers.
At the ECM Annual Meeting in Madeira, June 8-11, European Cities Marketing will offer a full two-day strategy seminar where attendees will meet some of the frontrunners and big players of the sharing economy first hand. They will engage with a great line up of creative entrepreneurs, opinion makers, experts and global commercial players as well as many speakers from around Europe.
Sharing economy is subject to controversy
Ignasi de Delas, ECM President, says about the seminar: “The real sharing economy is a great way for visitors to engage with the locals – to get the real and authentic city experience delivered by real people, living real lives.On the other hand, it has been strongly criticised for being just the opposite, for being nothing but big business tagged with all of the well familiar immoralities of full blown capitalism – tax evasion, violation of labour rights and consumer protection laws to name a few. ECM wants to contribute to this discussion, offering its members and all the attendees useful information, experiences, views and options of the different players; and more importantly to provide best practices to understand the complexity of the topic and inspire members to promote application in their cities”.
Peter Romer Hansen, Former Executive Vice President of Strategy & Market Communications at Wonderful Copenhagen and recent founder of Romer Agency, will coordinate the seminar day. Peter Romer says: “It’s very important that city managers have a deep understanding of the sharing economy and how it will impact tourism and daily life in our cities. We have planned this seminar hoping to provide valuable inspiration, cases and guidelines for city managers so that they can engage actively with the new players and platforms. I find that many cities are working to find good solutions to problems like tax evasion, visitor safety and protection of consumer and labour rights. Still, it is very clear that the sharing economy is not going away and I hope this conference will help the cities to think beyond regulation and to start pursuing the incredible opportunities to innovate and diversify the urban touristic experience“.
Innovation versus Regulation?
A seminar opening master class by Manolis Psarros, CEO of Toposophy, will outline the significant impact that sharing economy will play in urban development and city tourism. It will be followed by a keynote by Molly Turner, Global Head of Economic Development Partnerships at Airbnb, who will address the importance for cities to partner with accommodation providers like Airbnb in order to exploit the benefits of increased and more diversified accommodation. Supplementing this view, Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC, will advocate the need for regulation to ensure fair competition and industry sustainability in terms of taxation, affordable housing, adequate infrastructure, consumers’ safety and workers’ rights and even “peaceful coexistence of businesses and local residents”.
Lauren Hirshon, Director of Operations and Development at Leadership for a Networked World will share the results of the study she headed on the impact of the sharing economy on 12 cities across the US. Finally, Benita Matofska, Chief Sharer from The People Who Share and TED talker will advocate that sharing is actually caring… and a way of life! As a citizen in the global sharing economy there is always a bed, a new friendship or a cosy dinner party waiting for you just around the corner.
These five speakers will interact with the audience during several Q&A sessions. The seminar will then continue with 15 best practice studies and showcases.