The concept of sharing economy has taken the world by storm, where the spare resource available from “amateurs” could be utilized for others for a small compensation. Vayable.com allows taking travelling new places to the next level by enabling the locals to share their expertise and knowledge with the travelers by providing an off-beat experience. Vayable.com provides a platform where the resource is the time and knowledge of the local knowledge holders, and the platform facilitates matching the tourists with the specific tours provided by those knowledge holders.
The growing number of unique experiential activities added to the website has immensely increased the number of bookings taking place on the platform. From a unique street art tour to night photography tour in many metropolitan cities, these activities enable travelers looking for a distinct taste of the city that matches their specific interests. This results in more collaborative and social environment between the locals and the tourists by providing a window into the unique and hard to discover qualities of the cities usually overlooked in the package tours.
Similar to AirBnB and Uber, the Vayable also relies on the trust of the customers of its platform. To foster the trust towards the activities available on the platform, it employs ratings and review system, where each booking could be reviewed by the tourists later on. The overall rating of the activity is also displayed for the quick evaluation by the potential customers. However, the rating is just an aggregate and does not break down into potentially important components of satisfaction of the tourists with the booking, such as communication skills and personality of the local guide, value of the activity, coverage of the sites, etc. Without the breakdown of the ratings, it is difficult to know what aspect of the tour is most liked or not by the previous customers.
Each review is not accompanied by individual rating, thus as a customer it is difficult to evaluate the review without fully reading it. Also the platform does not mention what characteristic of the reviews are used to sort them on the site. There is no timestamp or rating associated with each review. This calls into question if the site promotes highly positive reviews to drive its business and underplays negative comments. The casts doubt on the trust on the platform, which is critical for the success of the platform.
Sharing platforms like Vayable are disrupting the established travel industry. Its customers come for economical escape that provides memorable travelling experience that is equally unique and rewarding. Powering the individual entrepreneurs to provide tailored services to the experience seeking tourist has increased the overall benefits for the society. But in order to succeed, the platform should enhance its transparency and activity review system to enable higher trust on the activities and the platform.