On March 19th, AskforTask’s COO, Qazi Fakhir Jamil, participated in an amazing Hospitality and Tourism conference at Ryerson University. Focusing on the sharing economy, students, professors and industry members came together to discuss how the rise of this industry is changing the way people are buying and consuming hospitality products. Notably, one topic of discussion revolved around how this change will provide new opportunities to millennials in the coming years.
On The Rise of the Sharing Economy
During the panel session, Andrew di Tomasso, Market Manager for Expedia Canada kickstarted the day by discussing the current state of the online world of hospitality and tourism sales. New technology innovations are challenging older models to change their ways. With the increased use of sharing economy platforms like Airbnb, companies like Expedia have been forced to re-evaluate their traditional ways of selling their services.
Food lawyer Glenford Jameson mediated the panel, and representatives from both sharing economy companies and traditionally-run companies responded to questions about how their industry and businesses have changed over the last couple of years. Besides AskforTask’s Qazi Fakhir Jamil, the panel included Foodora’s David Albert, Rover Parking’s Tim Wootton, and Easton’s Hotel Group’s Reetu Gupta. These panelists represent a range of business model types, all working in and adjacent to the food and hospitality industry.
On The Need To Innovate
Reetu discussed how her company, which eschews a traditional business model, was now establishing a stronger focus on quality service to beat out the technology-driven Airbnb. David, Tim and Qazi explained how their sharing economy companies are providing opportunities around employment and income by encouraging people to utilize the assets and skills that they already have.
AskforTask employs an online marketplace model to locally connect Taskers who are looking for work, to Askers who need work done and facilitate a renewal of community-based support and work exchanges. Although not a traditional model of work, AskforTask draws inspiration from traditional concepts of community and neighborhood.
Overall, it was a thoughtful and stimulating panel discussion. A big thank you to HTMC 2016 for hosting such a great conference! Events like these provide a hub for like-minded people and curious students to share knowledge, experience, and resources.