Is the Sharing Economy for All? An Answer Based on Neighbourhoods, Types of Hosts, and User Complaints

  • Jacques Bulchand-GidumalEmail author
  • Santiago Melián-González
  • Beatriz González López-Valcárcel
Conference paper


Sharing/platform economy takes place when users offer products and services through online platforms. In the case of tourism, the terms collaborative tourism and sharing (peer-to-peer) accommodations are commonly used. Since providing services through online platforms can be done by anyone without specific qualifications, it has been stated that the sharing economy is accessible to everyone who has goods to share or spare time available. Although this is true from a generic perspective, not all available offers receive the same attention from consumers. This research uses a dataset with all the properties offered in Spain on Airbnb to analyse differences in prices, demand, and guest satisfaction. It considers factors including neighbourhoods, and on whether the host is an amateur or a professional. The research also analyses the contents of user complaints. Results show that the platform economy is less egalitarian than some discourses about this economy suggest.


Sharing economy Collaborative economy Platform economy Airbnb Peer-to-peer accommodation 


  1. 1.
    Bulchand-Gidumal J, Melián-González S (2018) La revolución de la economía colaborativa. Editorial LID, MadridGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hamari J, Sjöklint M, Ukkonen A (2016) The sharing economy: why people participate in collaborative consumption. J Assoc Inf Sci Tech 67(9):2047–2059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Malhotra A, van Alstyne M (2014) The dark side of the sharing economy… and how to lighten it. Commun ACM 57(11):24–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Codagnone C, Martens B (2018) Scoping the sharing economy: origins, definitions, impact and regulatory issues. Accessed 12 July 2018
  5. 5.
    Heinrichs H (2013) Sharing economy: a potential new pathway to sustainability. GAIA 22(4):228–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Schor JB, Attwood-Charles W (2017) The “sharing” economy: labor, inequality, and social connection on for-profit platforms. Sociol Compass 11(8):e12493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dredge D, Gyimóthy S (eds) (2017) Collaborative economy and tourism: perspectives, politics, policies and prospects. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Airbnb (2018) Fast facts. Accessed 12 July 2018
  9. 9.
    Guttentag D (2015) Airbnb: disruptive innovation and the rise of an informal tourism accommodation sector. Curr Issues Tour 18(12):1192–1217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gutiérrez J, García-Palomares JC, Romanillos G, Salas-Olmedo MH (2017) The eruption of Airbnb in tourist cities: comparing spatial patterns of hotels and peer-to-peer accommodation in Barcelona. Tour Manag 62:278–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lalicic L, Weismayer C (2017) The role of authenticity in Airbnb experiences. In: Schegg R, Stangl B (eds) Information and communication technologies in tourism 2017. Springer International Publisher, pp 781–794Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Möhlmann M (2015) Collaborative consumption: determinants of satisfaction and the likelihood of using a sharing economy option again. J Consum Behav 14(3):193–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liang LJ, Choi HC, Joppe M (2018) Understanding repurchase intention of Airbnb consumers: perceived authenticity, electronic word-of-mouth, and price sensitivity. J Travel Tour Mark 35(1):73–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wang D, Nicolau JL (2017) Price determinants of sharing economy based accommodation rental: a study of listings from 33 cities on Airbnb. com. Int J Hosp Manag 62:120–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zervas G, Proserpio D, Byers JW (2017) The rise of the sharing economy: estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry. J Mark Res 54(5):687–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Edelman BG, Luca M (2014) Digital discrimination: the case of Accessed 12 July 2018
  17. 17.
    Bulchand-Gidumal J, Melián-González S, Lopez-Valcarcel BG (2013) A social media analysis of the contribution of destinations to client satisfaction with hotels. Int J Hosp Manag 35:44–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Qiu RT, Fan DX, Liu A (2018) Exploring the booking determinants of the airbnb properties: an example of the listings of London. In: Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2018. Springer International Published, pp 44–51Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cheng M, Jin X (2019) What do Airbnb users care about? An analysis of online review comments. Int J Hosp Manag 76:58–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tussyadiah IP, Zach F (2017) Identifying salient attributes of peer-to-peer accommodation experience. J Travel Tour Mark 34(5):636–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tussyadiah IP, Pesonen J (2018) Drivers and barriers of peer-to-peer accommodation stay–an exploratory study with American and Finnish travellers. Curr Issues Tour 21(6):703–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Belarmino A, Whalen E, Koh Y, Bowen JT (2017) Comparing guests’ key attributes of peer-to-peer accommodations and hotels: mixed-methods approach. Curr Issues Tour 1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Xie K, Mao Z (2017) The impacts of quality and quantity attributes of Airbnb hosts on listing performance. Int J Contemp Hosp Manag 29(9):2240–2260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zervas G, Proserpio D, Byers J (2015) A first look at online reputation on Airbnb, where every stay is above average. or Accessed 12 July 2018
  25. 25.
    Kwok L, Xie KL (2018) Pricing strategies on Airbnb: are multi-unit hosts revenue pros? Int J Hosp Manag (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Bulchand-Gidumal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Santiago Melián-González
    • 1
  • Beatriz González López-Valcárcel
    • 1
  1. 1.University Institute for Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development (TIDES) University of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas PalmasSpain

Personalised recommendations