Since 2008, we have all been working our way past the impact of, what is commonly called, the “Great Recession”. Enormous financial turmoil and upheaval initiated by the subprime mortgage crisis took a huge toll on the global markets. Today, we still hear that the “economy just isn’t improving at an encouraging rate,” and this tends to translate to higher unemployment as well as other unhappy financial news.
However, there is one industry that has recovered, and even expanded and grown since 2008, and that is the travel industry. According to one leading group, “the travel sector has added a total of 800,000 jobs since the Great Recession (even more than manufacturing) … [and] has recovered 138 percent of jobs lost during the recession.” (PeterGreenberg.com)
This leaves some scratching their heads, wondering how people in the US can afford to travel when the job outlook is so bleak and financial problems still plague more rather than less. The answer to that is simple, it is not Americans who are doing all of the traveling and growing the industry. Instead, the “travel industry has been the fortunate recipient of a dramatic increase in inbound international travel: 9.1 percent in 2013” alone.
That single digit figure may not seem like a lot, but if you consider that an increase of 2.3 percent translates to more than one million international vacationers, it is easy to see just how the travel industry is nurturing substantial growth in the US job market.
The list of jobs is substantial and touches on hotels and hospitality to airline workers, restaurant employees and the seemingly endless list of industries and jobs that must “support” travel.
More than Jobs
Of course, anywhere travelers head in larger numbers there are accompanying increases in other industries too. For example, travelers also boost the food industry, hospitality industry, and more. Of particular interest to many is the relation between increased international travel and the use of short-term housing.
Rather than a costlier stay at a hotel, travelers from all parts of the world have recognized the sense in opting for much more comfortable, welcoming and efficient furnished housing options. This short-term housing represents a distinct shift and presents an unusual addition to the list of financial benefits from the travel industry. After all, short-term housing can be owned by a corporation, but it can also be privately owned and comprised of individual, furnished apartments or condos, private homes, and townhouses rather than hotel-like suites. This means that in addition to creating more jobs and growing industries, it also helps property owners to monetize them by using them as short-term housing for international travelers or travel industry workers who are temporarily assigned to a specific area.
More Demands for Short-Term Housing
International travelers, and domestic travelers alike, have made it obvious that peer-to-peer websites offer as much appeal as more traditional options. However, it is not only travelers who require short-term housing and who use alternative housing resources to meet their needs. For example, people who require corporate short-term housing may look into furnished housing made available by the owner of that property. Traveling specifically for work, they need comfortable and home-like short-term housing, something the typical extended stay property or hotel just cannot provide.
This is even more the case thanks to the recent changes in the Visa Waiver and Visa Free programs in the US. The “Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel Act” or JOLT is incentivizing travel to the US by giving international travelers the opportunity to head to the US for stays of up to 90 days without the need for the typical visa. Meant to encourage business as well as tourism, it has also caused a spike in demand for furnished housing of all kinds.
Visitors can find a wide range of furnished housing options that will provide them with the ideal base from which to explore the region. Stays in large cities or even rural areas are possible, and the travelers can find temporary housing that gives them a home away from home, but without the expense of furnishing a property for several months of use.
The travel industry is enormous and touches on almost every other industry. Now it is able to support the real estate industry as well by creating an audience for homes or properties that might sit stagnating, empty, or waiting to be sold. Naturally, not all peer-to-peer or DIY sites are the same. Property owners will want to consider using a corporate housing service that ensures all of the legalities are met, the renters screened, and the owners as well informed and protected as possible.
Residents of many EU nations, Australia, Chile, Japan and more can travel for extended periods of time. Many want a homelike setting rather than an impersonal hotel, and this is going to create measurable and entirely unique growth in the travel industry.
By: I’m Stella Jefferson working with Corporate Housing by Owner as a Content Editor.