City Catt, who?

We could’ve gone funny, serious, or sarcastic. We chose none of those. Instead, here goes our poetic version of who we are:

The smell of coffee locally grown and freshly brewed, complemented by the just out of the oven secret recipe chocolate chip muffin – the best you’ve ever had. The breathtaking view of the valley, that you can only enjoy after hiking the oldest local trail, that’s best seen right before sunset. The shop that has a selection of handmade items, that find their way into your home because there’s no other place on earth that sells those things.

The cheerful sound of happy children running around the best playground in town, which happens to also be a castle, a boat, a fort, or whatever fits in their imagination. The best spot at the stadium, where you combine the best view, the best acoustic, and the best hot dog vendor.

Oh, the things you can only know when you call someplace your home. Oh, the places you’d like to know. What if anywhere could feel like home?

What if anywhere could feel like home, with a friend, who will unlock all these secrets for you, and let you experience the best, most unique, and most valuable things in each city?

What if on each trip, you’d have the possibility to access insider status, and cross the bridge that divides travelers from locals? What if your visit to a new city could feel like a visit to a friend’s home? No unnecessary lines, no overpaying for things, no lost time trying to find things, no frustration over not finding what you wanted, no disappointment over wrong expectations, no more selfies over portraits. When you connect to the people who call your destination home, then it becomes their job to make you feel welcomed. You wouldn’t be just a traveler, but a guest.

Let’s bring back the element of surprise to traveling. Let’s bring back the possibility of making friends everywhere you go. Friends think alike and like the same things. Let us connect you to like-minded people everywhere you go because someone like you will take you somewhere you like.

Nice to meet you! Enough with the poetry, let’s have fun together!

In charge of our cities

Hometown. If you think about it, the junction of home+town means so much to us. They can get to a point of shaping who we are: our points of view, our teams, our favorite places, our memories. It all comes from our experiences in our hometowns. And that’s why it gets personal when someone tries to change them somehow.

We’ve all had a favorite place from childhood torn down, just to be replaced by some big business parking lot? It’s upsetting, to say the least. As Dennis Schaal, Executive Editor at Skift, says “Tourism development versus the locals is an issue that cities and countries worldwide have to grapple with. There’s no magic formula for striking the right balance.”

Even in tough times, the Hospitality, Tourism, and Service Industries thrive, as people always need a break. So, how can cities take advantage of this economical opportunity without imposing unfair changes to residents, and allowing them to profit as well?

Well… just the other day, your options when traveling were hotels or camping, public transportation or taxis. Startups like Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, and others have changed this and gave ordinary people a chance to have a share of the profitable Hospitality market. People who were used to just observing the changes around them can now participate and profit from them.

The challenge to the cities remains, though. The report “Advances in Hospitality, Tourism, and the Services Industry” highlights the importance for them to work with the locals, in order to identify core values and goals for tourism in their community. Who better than the experts in the communities, a.k.a residents, to establish these goals?

Well, the subject is complex, and there are more questions than answers right now. It’s also very specific to each city and its own issues. But there’s one certainty in all this: residents should care and should participate. Remember, everybody is a resident for some days and a tourist other days. If we choose to be the best at each of these roles, we contribute to a balance between great cities and tourism development.

And you know what’s even better? There’s never been a better moment to take on these roles. “Sharing market startups, like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and City Catt, give residents an opportunity to profit from the Hospitality market, but also to shape it; and tourists gain access to a much more authentic, smooth and affordable experience”, says City Catt co-founder Lizia Santos. Power to the people! 🙂

The gig of sharing

Let us introduce you to the Gig Economy. When unemployment rates were sky high, between 2009 and 2013, workers started turning to gigs for lack of a better choice. This choice, then, transitioned to a trend. 

study from Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of US workers will fall into the category of gig workers. We were already heading towards a much more flexible workforce, but recently another character came into play that turned the gig economy into an even greater game changer. 

Have you heard of the Sharing Market? When the Gig Economy and the Sharing Market meet, it’s like that magical moment in a movie. Think emotional music, dimmed lights, tears of joy!  

In the words of Benita Matofska, from The People Who Share, “whilst the Sharing Economy is currently in its infancy, known most notably as a series of services and start-ups which enable P2P exchanges through technology, this is only the beginning: in its entirety and potential it is a new and alternative socio-economic system which embeds sharing and collaboration at its heart – across all aspects of social and economic life.”

To make it simple, when you put together people who have a need with people who have a solution and facilitate their contact through technology, then you have a classic Sharing Market picture. Startups like AirBnB, Uber, Lyft and many others have made this inovation fairly common nowadays. 

When gigs come through the sharing market, they become meaningful. If a gig consists in resolving a need someone else has:

          1. You’ve got a great market opportunity, since you’ll be fulfilling a need that already exists out there. No need to create one.

          2. You’ll be happy, because helping people brings out the best in us.  

Your pocket will also be happier, since it’ll get fuller without you spending to earn. You know the saying “you gotta spend money to make money”? It doesn’t work like this in the Sharing market. You’ll basically use what you already have to solve other people’s problems. It’s a classic win/win.

For the workers of this new industry, it means they get to work in a flexible, fulfilling way. In turn, consumers get a commodity, quick solutions and affordability. Awesome, right?

Still, a survey published by PWC shows that 56% of the US adult population are not familiar with the concept of a Sharing Market. If it was bad news, it would travel faster. Go figure. But since you came across this article and read it to the end, how about going the extra mile and sharing this good news with the people around you?

You have to agree that there’s no better way to debut in the Sharing Economy than by sharing the good news of its existence. Give the gig of sharing!