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经济学人: 分享型经济 犬类的空中食宿

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Business: The sharing economy-2: Airbnb for canines

商业:分享型经济-二:犬类的空中食宿
Putting a wolf over their heads.
把狼放在他们头顶。
The majority of Americans see their pets as family members, surveys show.
研究表明,大多数的美国人把他们的宠物看作自己的家庭成员。
Those with dogs are more likely to call themselves pet “parents” than canine “owners”.
养狗的人更愿意把自己称为狗狗的父母,而并非狗狗的主人。

分享型经济犬类的空中食宿.jpg

There are more of these parents than ever.

现在比以前有更多的“狗狗父母”。
In big cities such as San Francisco and Seattle, (owned) dogs outnumber children.
在圣弗朗西斯科和西雅图这些大城市,被饲养狗狗的数量比人们的孩子还要多。
The ways in which companies are profiting from the trend are also multiplying.
公司从这一趋势中获利的方式也越来越多。
Not only is there organic dog food on offer, but packaged, raw food for dogs so they can follow a “paleo” diet reminiscent of what their ancestors ate in the wild.
不仅仅销售有机狗粮,而且还为狗狗提供生机包装食品,从而让狗狗能够回归原始饮食方式,回忆起它们祖先以前在野外所吃的东西。
A different sort of indulgence is orthopaedic pet mattresses.
一种不同的溺爱方式就是符合宠物身体构造床垫的诞生。
This year Americans spent more than $400m on Halloween costumes for pets.
今年,美国人为宠物的万圣节装扮花费超过4亿美元。
Overall, annual spending on pet food and products in America has risen by around 40% over the past ten years, to $43bn—a remarkable rate of growth for an already large industry, says Jared Koerten of Euromonitor, a research firm.
总的说来,美国人每年在宠物食品和有关产品上的开销在过去10年间已经上涨了约40%,达到430亿美元。一家名为Euromonitor研究公司的Jared Koerten表示,这个增长率对于体量已然极其庞大的行业来说是惊人的。
Now a pack of startups has sniffed a fresh opportunity.
现在,一群创业公司已经嗅到了商机。
Much as Airbnb has offered travellers an alternative to staying in a hotel, two firms, Rover and DogVacay, want to give pet owners an alternative to kennels when away from home.
就像Airbnb已经为旅行者提供了另外一种入住酒店的方式,Rover和DogVacay这两家公司打算为宠物饲主出远门时提供一种全新的寄养方式。
Customers search for a nearby sitter and pay for their dog to stay in that person’s home.
顾客可以搜寻就近的“宠物保姆”,然后为他们的宠物支付“住宿费”。
The cost is around $30 a night, with the majority of that going to the sitter and around a fifth to the company—much less than you would spend to check your dog into a kennel.
寄养宠物一晚上的花费是大约30美金,“宠物保姆”会收到其中大部分的钱,只有约五分之一的佣金归属这个公司。这比你花钱给宠物店照看狗狗要便宜得多。
The other big selling-point is that pets by and large receive better treatment.
另外一个大的卖点就是,总体上宠物会得到更好的照顾。
There are ways, apparently, to vet dog hosts to find the real pet lovers: only around 15% of those who apply to serve as sitters are approved.
很明显,这些公司有很多方式去审核“狗狗保姆”来找到真正的喜欢宠物的人:只有约15%申请当“宠物保姆”的人通过认证。
Besides offering pooches more attention and room to roam, the platforms try to offer extra add-ons that appeal to helicopter parents.
此外,为了给狗狗提供更多的关心和散步空间,这些平台尝试提供额外的附加软件来吸引“直升机式的”父母。
Rover has launched a feature that enables customers to see how far their dog has been walked via the GPS in the host’s phone.
Rover已经开发出一项新的功能,这能够让顾客通过“宠物保姆”手机上的GPS查看他们的狗狗散步路程。
Like Airbnb, both DogVacay and Rover insure stays against accidents.
和Airbnb一样,Rover和DogVacay都为“入住期间”投保意外险。
Another advantage of the model is that, unlike other platforms that match consumers with workers, like handymen or masseuses, for one-off visits, consumers often use dog-sitting services many times a year, and they tend to be loyal.
这种模式的另一个优点就是,不像其他平台为了一次性访问量,会把顾客和诸如打零工的人或女按摩师这些工作人员匹配在一起,而这些平台的顾客们可以一年多次使用“宠物保姆”服务,他们都会成为这些平台的忠实拥趸。
That has helped DogVacay and Rover attract a lot of venture-capital money—around $140m between them.
这已经帮助Rover和DogVacay吸引了大量风险投资金,约1400万美元。
But firms that connect pets with hosts will face daunting competition as they try to go global.
但是,这些使宠物和“宠物保姆”联系起来的公司在打开国际市场时会遇到巨大竞争。
Companies offering home-stays for dogs are now cropping up in many different countries, including Australia, Brazil and Britain.
为狗狗提供寄养服务的公司在许多国家如雨后春笋般出现,包括澳大利亚、巴西和英国。
And unlike Airbnb, which pulls in customers thanks to its presence in lots of markets that people want to travel to, the network effect for services like DogVacay is local.
和Airbnb不一样的是,Airbnb能吸引顾客是因为人们想要去旅行的地方就有Airbnb,而Dogvacay这样的服务其网络效应仅限于当地。
Despite having anticipated the trend early, such firms may never achieve the same scale as an Airbnb.
虽然现在去预测这种趋势的走向为时尚早,但是这些公司可能永远不会像Airbnb一样遍及全球。
But then no one ever said it was easy to be top dog.
不过,没有人说过做到业内顶尖是很容易的。

译文属译者说外刊

重点单词   查看全部解释    
appeal [ə'pi:l]

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n. 恳求,上诉,吸引力
n. 诉诸裁决

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trend [trend]

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n. 趋势,倾向,方位
vi. 倾向,转向

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check [tʃek]

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n. 检查,支票,账单,制止,阻止物,检验标准,方格图案

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competition [kɔmpi'tiʃən]

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n. 比赛,竞争,竞赛

 
indulgence [in'dʌldʒəns]

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n. 沉溺,放纵,嗜好 n. 【宗】(天主教)特赦;豁免

 
majority [mə'dʒɔriti]

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n. 多数,大多数,多数党,多数派
n.

 
tend [tend]

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v. 趋向,易于,照料,护理

 
global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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advantage [əd'vɑ:ntidʒ]

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n. 优势,有利条件
vt. 有利于

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achieve [ə'tʃi:v]

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v. 完成,达到,实现

 

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