It is safe to say that most travellers are keen to explore the local area. For that reason, access to eco-friendly, safe, and low-cost transportation can be a serious value-add to an accommodation experience.
When it comes to accessible transport, there is no denying the popularity of e-scooters. Since the launch of shared public e-scooters in Brisbane in 2018, cities across Australia have followed suit.
E-scooters and other modes of ‘micro-mobility’ have emerged as viable and sustainable alternatives to cars and public transport for travelling shorter distances.
However, the potential for e-scooters to tap into the tourist market directly through accommodation providers is yet to be fully explored.
URBNRIDZ Founder & Chief Environmental Officer, Mark Ullah said while e-scooters have proved popular with tourist accommodation providers across the world, the Australian sector was yet to reap the benefits.
He told AccomNews: “Today, travellers demand access to affordable rooms, free wifi, a comfy bed, a variety of dining options and a more sustainable experience.
“This is the new norm and right now the accommodation sector has a wonderful opportunity to differentiate its offerings while addressing environmental and sustainability goals.
“Studies show that sustainable practices have a positive impact on guest experience and the likelihood of them returning. Simply put, going ‘green’ leads to loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing, and higher customer satisfaction.
“I suggest that providing direct access to a unique transport option like e-scooters not only meets guest expectations but also offers an additional revenue stream for accommodation businesses.”
Cater to convenience
Mr Ullah believes e-scooters can help your business “stand out in a saturated market, by offering guests a convenient mode of transport”.
Unlike public shared e-scooter schemes, private rental fleets offer point-to-point transport and users return the scooter to a designated location on-site.
“Convenience is key,” he explained.
“When you make a private fleet available to your guests, it means they can pick up a clean, well-maintained e-scooter at your property instead of having to search the neighbourhood for public e-scooter rides.
“Then your guests can jump on their e-scooter to sightsee for hours. Not only do they get to see much more of the locale but once they’ve had their fun, they just return the e-scooter to the lobby. What could be simpler?
“Furthermore, this arrangement is less disruptive to the surrounding environment.”
[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”13762″ align=”left”]Do point-to-point e-scooters make for a happier neighbourhood?
“Absolutely,” Mr Ullah agreed “after all, no one wants e-scooters left all over the streets, especially in tourist destinations. Everyone is happier to see them safely parked in an eco-hub. Hubs can be placed in a designated space on your property or private land.
He said: “With global tourism opening again, the Australian accommodation sector should expect a surge of visitors. What better way is there for international travellers to make the most of Australia’s incredibly unique environment than to sight-see on eco-friendly e-scooters?
“Accessibility is a massive benefit to the accommodation sector. An e-scooter ‘gifts’ your guests the experience of going to extraordinary places that a car cannot access. It also allows them to cover much more ground than a walk, and time is very precious to a tourist!”
Give your accommodation experience an eco-friendly edge
It is essential to recognise how environmentally conscious guests are in 2022 and E-scooters can give your business an ‘eco-friendly edge’. Even more importantly, it’s an authentic ‘edge’ because e-scooters produce zero emissions and offer major environmental benefits.
In fact, a study by a popular shared public e-scooter platform found that using e-scooters in Paris for a year helped save over 330 tons of carbon emissions in the city. It showed, that promoting the use of e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices will lessen the number of cars on the road. As a result, also reduces the overall carbon emissions in cities and eases congestion.
“With over 65 percent of global travellers intending to stay somewhere eco-friendly,” Mr Ullah revealed: “Our vision is to reduce congestion in cities and improve air quality.”
“The statistics are encouraging. Rather than taking a car, environmentally conscious guests will appreciate the offer of easy eco-friendly travel options.”
While concerns have been raised about the safety of e-scooters, a recent study out of the UK had reassuring results.
The UK E-scooter Safety Report by accident prevention charity The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) found electric e-scooters were five times safer than road bikes.
The report said electric scooters have an incident rate of 0.66 collisions for every million miles (1.6 million kilometres) travelled.
That’s five times lower than bikes, with 3.33 collisions per million miles travelled.
However, Mr Ullah advised accommodation providers to always keep safety at the forefront of their mind when considering e-scooters.
“Insurance is something that is often overlooked,” he warned.
“Make sure it covers, not just the operator but also the rider and third parties, in the event of accidental damage.
“Rider waivers are not sufficient.”
E-scooter point-to-point fleets: Where to start
Once all the benefits of providing e-scooters have been considered, you might be tempted to purchase your own fleet. Why not?
Mr Ullah recommends caution.
“Running an eco-fleet requires the right equipment, the right management platform, and the right support,” he said.
“Purchasing your own fleet may seem like a good idea but remember they also need to be managed and tracked in line with local laws and regulations.
“Most importantly, damage, repairs, and maintenance must be well managed. As well as providing rider support and high-quality service to elevate the guest experience.
“My advice is, yes, it is possible to do it yourself but consider the risks and overheads first. Be aware that managing a fleet can be an extra burden, an unwelcome distraction from other important duties.
“Whereas a Business to Business (B2B) rental operator provides everything needed to launch a managed fleet of e-scooters, with accessories, support, and a customer app.
“A successful partnership removes the headache of managing the fleet and allows you to focus on the guest experience.
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