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Airbnb, sweet Airbnb. Hosts’ perspectives on managing commercial homes and offering experiences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

What has been dubbed “the sharing economy” is a recent, worldwide trend that has affected the way that economic and social relations are getting organized. In this new paradigm and through the mediation of online platforms, non- or undercapitalized values can be put into use or turned into a source of profit. The sharing economy has expanded rapidly and includes a wide variety of fields from car-sharing to book-swapping. Tourism has not remained without representatives. Without being the only one of its kind, the most successful company is Airbnb, which provides an online platform that allows home-owners or renters to rent the whole or part of their house for brief periods of time.

Research conducted so far has focused on the consumers' motives of these type of services, the effects it has on the traditional tourism sector etc. but has hardly examined the people that cooperate with Airbnb to provide its services, the hosts, to use Airbnb's terminology. The hosts provide the spaces –their homes-  that Airbnb offers to its clients. Airbnb's version of the sharing economy is disrupting traditional notions of home which through the use of the platform is becoming more that a dwelling for its residents. Besides other things, it becomes a business, a product, a place for socializing with strangers and a lense through which tourists view a destination from what has traditionally been off-limits for them, the proverbial "backstage" where they had no access.

The aim of this paper is to shed light on the home-making and business practices of Airbnb hosts that rent part of their houses. To do so, theory-informed, semi-structured interview were held with fifteen Athenian hosts. A multitude of issues are examined: hosts's motives for participating in the platform, the way that these hosts make the product that they offer attractive to guests, the strategies they follow to make their guests' stay a memorable experience, they way they perceive their relationship with their competitors, Airbnb company and the tourism industry. Besides giving answers to the questions brought forward by the issues above, this paper provides new ideas and notions such as "hosting stages" and "hosting fatigue".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Sharing economy, home sharing, Airbnb
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127424OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-127424DiVA: diva2:1045842
Educational program
Master's Program in Tourism
Available from: 2016-11-11 Created: 2016-11-10 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf