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Drivers and barriers of peer-to-peer accommodation stay – an exploratory study with American and Finnish travellers

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The explosive growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodation service presents a potential transformation in the competitive landscape of accommodation sector. This research explores the market characteristics and the factors that drive and hinder the use of P2P accommodation to better explain the phenomenon of collaborative consumption in the tourism and hospitality marketplace. Using responses from travellers residing in the United States and Finland, exploratory factor analyses revealed two factors that drive the use of P2P accommodation: social appeal (desire for community and sustainability) and economic appeal (cost savings). The barriers include issues of trust, efficacy and familiarity with the system, and cost. The empirical evidence from this study suggests several managerial implications for tourism and hospitality businesses and directions for future research.
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Drivers and Barriers of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Use
An Exploratory Study with American and Finnish Travellers
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13683500.2016.1141180?journalCode=rcit20
Iis P. Tussyadiah
a*
& Juho Pesonen
b
a
School of Hospitality Business Management, Carson College of Business, Washington State
University Vancouver, 14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave, CLS 308T, Vancouver, WA 98686, USA
b
Centre for Tourism Studies, University of Eastern Finland, Kuninkaankartanonkatu 7, PO Box
86, 57101 Savonlinna, Finland
This is an author version of the research paper. The final version is published in Current
Issues in Tourism, doi 10.1080/13683500.2016.1141180
Abstract
The explosive growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodation service presents a potential
transformation in the competitive landscape of accommodation sector. This research explores the
market characteristics and the factors that drive and hinder the use of P2P accommodation to
better explain the phenomenon of collaborative consumption in the tourism and hospitality
marketplace. Using responses from travellers residing in the United States (US) and Finland,
exploratory factor analyses revealed two factors that drive the use of P2P accommodation: social
appeal (desire for community and sustainability) and economic appeal (cost savings). The
barriers include issues of trust, efficacy and familiarity with the system, and cost. The empirical
evidence from this study suggests several managerial implications for tourism and hospitality
businesses and directions for future research.
Keywords: collaborative consumption, sharing economy, P2P accommodation, P2P rental
Introduction
In recent years, the phenomenon of sharing economy has emerged in tourism marketplaces
(Guttentag, 2013). Information and communication technology (ICT) enables the development of
this socio-economic model by facilitating the creation and sustenance of online peer
communities. The increasing connectivity, propagated by online social network platforms,
allows people to share access to products and services among each other. Belk (2014) explains
this phenomenon as collaborative consumption, where people coordinate “the acquisition and
distribution of a resource for a fee or other compensation” (p. 1597). Similarly, referring to it as
market-mediated access-based consumption, Bardhi and Eckhardt (2012) explain the domain of
collaborative consumption as consumers gaining access to goods and services by paying for the
experience of temporarily accessing them, highlighting that no ownership is transferred in these
transactions. Businesses leveraging the sharing economy have flourished. Companies such as
Airbnb and Uber develop scalable platforms empowering individuals to distribute and share
access to excess capacity of accommodation (e.g., spare rooms) and transportation (e.g., cars or
bicycles sitting idle) with one another. They act as a matchmaker by creating a global network
connecting individuals with underused assets and others who are willing to pay for using them
and, in so doing, allocating resources where they are needed (The Economist, 2013). As these
companies bring consumers together to better link the supply and demand in hospitality and
tourism, they create added value in the market (Zekanović-Korona & Grzunov, 2014).
Many believe that the sharing economy is an appealing alternative for consumers due to
its economic benefits (i.e., low cost), which was considered important after the global economic
crisis (Bardhi & Eckhardt, 2012; Guttentag, 2013; Walsh, 2011). Indeed, Zekanović-Korona and
Grzunov (2014) assert that taking a trip without costly arrangements and accommodation has
become a mission of many tourists. However, Botsman and Rogers (2011) argue that
collaborative consumption is driven by motivations that extend beyond cost savings. Gansky
(2010) suggests that the sharing economy is driven by consumers’ changing attitude towards
consumption. Consumers are willing to try out new brands (Gansky, 2010) and are more open to
new ways of accessing what they need (Botsman & Rogers, 2011; Bardhi & Eckhardt, 2012).
Additionally, consumers are increasingly aware of the pressure that (over)consumption can pose
to the environment. The idea of sharing idle capacity to reduce environmental concerns, the
renewed belief in the importance of community, and cost-consciousness move consumers
towards the practice of sharing, openness and collaboration (Botsman & Rogers, 2011; John,
2013; Walsh, 2011). Hence, it is suggested that collaborative consumption will continue to grow
even when the economy is fully recovered and, hence, will disrupt traditional value chains and
threaten companies that are being bypassed by customers who are connecting and buying with
each other (Sigala, 2015). The emergent business model presents opportunities and challenges
for travel and hospitality businesses as well as tourism destinations. Therefore, it is important to
identify the motivational factors that drive or hinder travellers from using peer-to-peer (P2P)
accommodation. Hence, the goals of this study are threefold: (1) to identify the market
characteristics of P2P accommodation (i.e., who the users are and how they are different from
non-users), (2) to assess the drivers for the use of P2P accommodation among users, and (3) to
assess the barriers to the use of P2P accommodation among non-users.
The Sharing Economy
ICT continuously revolutionizes the tourism and hospitality industries by facilitating
convergences among different players, enabling the creation of new services with improved
processes for the suppliers and added values for the consumers. As ICT becomes an integral part
of everyday life, it plays a significant role in affecting travellers’ behavioural choices, including
the selection of places to stay when traveling. By the start of 2015, Airbnb served more than 25
million guests, offering accommodation in more than 34,000 cities around the globe (airbnb.com,
2015). Additionally, the information cascades generated through social media, where users share
information and experiences with each other and rely on information from their peers to make
consumption decisions, contribute to the popularity of P2P sharing and the convergence on the
practices of collaborative consumption (John, 2013).
The explosive growth of P2P accommodation stimulates a growing concern on whether it
negatively affects the hotel industry. Many believe that P2P accommodation and hotels operate
in different spaces, catering to different demographics, with low-budget consumers being the
primary demographic for P2P accommodation (Nath, 2014). Assessing the impacts of Airbnb on
the hotel industry in the state of Texas, Zervas, Proserpio, and Byers (2014) identified that the
impacts are unevenly distributed across the industry, with lower-end hotels being the most
affected, confirming their market similarity with P2P accommodation. However, contrary to this
suggestion, Olson (2013) shows that consumers with higher income levels are more likely to
participate in collaborative consumption. She also shows that younger demographics find
collaborative consumption appealing (32% of Gen X and 24% of Millenials, in contrast to 15%
of Baby Boomer). Similarly, John (2013) suggests that the online sharing behaviour of digital
natives (e.g., updating statuses, uploading photos, etc.), who were born in the era of digital social
technologies, translates into offline sharing behaviour. That is, younger consumers who are
accustomed to sharing information and media online are significantly more likely to participate
in collaborative consumption (Gaskins, 2010; John, 2013). A further investigation on the
demographic and behavioural characteristics of consumers who use P2P accommodation will
provide a better understanding of the market and its behavioural patterns.
The rapid rise of the sharing economy is driven by various factors, including societal
(e.g., increasing population density, desire for community, etc.), economic (e.g., monetize excess
inventory, increase financial flexibility, etc.), and technology (e.g., social networking, mobile
devices, and payment system) (Owyang, 2013). From the consumers’ perspective, several
motivations underlying participation in collaborative consumption have been suggested, despite
being supported by anecdotal evidence. The global economic crisis caused consumers to rethink
their values, to be more mindful with their spending habits, and to be more resourceful (Gansky,
2010). The movement towards collaborative consumption is driven by the increasing value of
access as an alternative mode of consumption, as opposed to ownership (Bardhi & Eckhardt,
2012; Botsman & Rogers, 2010). Collaborative consumption is perceived as offering more value
with less cost (Botsman & Rogers, 2010; Gansky, 2010; Lamberton & Rose, 2012; Sacks, 2011),
suggesting that consumers are motivated to participate in collaborative consumption for its
economic benefits.
An increasing awareness of environmental pressure drives people to find ways to use
resources more efficiently in order to have a more sustainable society (Albinsson & Perera,
2012; Gansky, 2010; Luchs et al., 2011). Indeed, resource redistribution approach offers an
economic and social framework that enhances sustainability by efficiently deploying excess
capacity of resources. Collaborative consumption is believed to help reduce the negative impacts
on the environment because it reduces the development of new products and the consumption of
raw materials (Botsman & Rogers, 2010; Luchs et al., 2011; Walsh 2011). For consumers with a
greater preference towards greener consumption, collaborative consumption can be considered a
manifestation of sustainable behaviour, a way to contribute to sustainable living (Luchs et al.,
2011).
Since social network and collaboration fuel collaborative consumption, direct P2P
interactions and the sharing of personal experiences allow participants to create and maintain
social connections with others. Participating in collaborative consumption is an opportunity to
make new friends and to develop meaningful connections (Botsman & Rogers, 2010). These are
also motivations very closely connected to what Germann Molz (2011, p. 216) defined as
network hospitality, the way people connect to one another using online networking systems, as
well as to the kinds of relationships they perform when they meet each other offline and face to
face. While hospitality plays a great role in P2P accommodation experience, it is not the
professional hospitality as in hotels and other tourism businesses (Brotherton, 1999). P2P
accommodation systems foster direct interactions between hosts and guests (i.e., by sharing
personal experiences), allowing travellers to connect with local communities (Guttentag, 2013).
Therefore, Albinsson and Perera (2012) assert that a sense of community is not only the driver of
collaborative consumption, but also an outcome of this practice.
To date, empirical studies verifying the suggested motivational factors for collaborative
consumption are extremely limited. Among the few, Hamari, Sjöklint, and Ukkonen (2015)
investigate the motivations that drive people to participate in online collaborative consumption
with a consideration to self-determination theory (i.e., include intrinsic and extrinsic motives),
previous studies on sharing practices, and context-specific adjustment. The results from their
study show that the factors of enjoyment (i.e., from using the website and/or mobile system, an
intrinsic motive) and economic benefits significantly affect behavioural intention for
collaborative consumption, while sustainability and enjoyment drive attitudes toward
collaborative consumption. In a closely related topic, Zekanović-Korona and Grzunov (2014)
conducted an online survey to gauge information regarding the advantages and drawbacks of
Airbnb system, including such aspects as information presentation as well as simplicity and
accessibility of the database. From a total of 118 respondents (44% of their respondents use
Airbnb, 36% plan to do so, and 20% are not interested in the service), they suggested that ease of
use, search options, and information about hosts were considered advantages of Airbnb. The
summary of drivers of collaborative consumption from previous literature and the media is
presented in Table 1.
While the benefits of P2P accommodation appeal to its users, there are barriers to its
acceptance in the market. Owyang (2013) suggests several challenges associated with the
collaborative economy concept, stemming from perceived disruption of existing regulation, lack
of trust between P2P users, lack of reputation and standard, opposition from existing businesses,
and uncertainty over the longevity of the business models. Olson (2013) suggests trust as the
most cited barrier to collaborative consumption, which includes the basic mistrust among
strangers and concerns for privacy. As suggested by Botsman and Rogers (2010), collaborative
consumption implies trusting strangers to a varying degree. To use P2P accommodation is to
believe that it is safe to spend some times at the guest room of a perfect stranger. Furthermore,
Keymolen (2013) argues that the mediation of ICT brings forth new complexities to trust
relations in the context of collaborative consumption. The central role of ICT in mediating
collaborative consumption implies “trust through technology,” which results in interpersonal
system trust that is built and shaped by ICT. Indeed, in the context of collaborative commerce,
trust through technology plays a significant role in companies’ willingness to collaborate (e.g.,
Ratnasingam, 2004). Therefore, as a deterrent of collaborative consumption, lack of trust can be
rooted from trust relations among users (i.e., interpersonal trust between buyers and sellers), trust
relations between users and technology (e.g., trust with the payment systems), and trust relations
between users and the company (e.g., perceived uncertainty and regulatory issues).
Another barrier is associated with the perceived utility of collaborative consumption.
Sacks (2011) provides anecdotal evidence that collaborative consumption is preferred by
consumers because it allows access to a desired product with lower costs. From their study on
motion picture file sharing systems, Hennig-Thurau, Henning, and Sattler (2007) confirm that
consumers find the sharing economy attractive when they perceive that the benefits outweigh the
cost. Hence, it can be suggested that the perceived lack of economic benefits (i.e., lack of cost
savings) prevents consumers from participating in collaborative consumption (Buczynski, 2013).
Consistent with this suggestion, Olson (2013) also shows that consumers are concerned of
receiving bad quality products and services and that the value from collaborative consumption is
not worth the effort. Finally, as collaborative consumption is enabled by ICT, consumers’
adoption of collaborative consumption can be influenced by the characteristics of technology.
For example, in the context of collaborative commerce, ease of use, complexity and trialability
of the technology systems (as suggested in innovation diffusion theory; Rogers, 2003) are
considered important adoption factors that allow multiple users to interact, collaborate, and
transact with each other using an online platform (e.g., Chong et al., 2009; Park et al., 2004).
Comparably, consumers will not participate in collaborative consumption if they find the
technology systems too complex. In other words, lack of technology efficacy deters consumers
from participating in collaborative consumption and, in this research context, using P2P
accommodation. The summary of barriers to collaborative consumption as suggested in previous
literature and the media is presented in Table 1.
== Table 1 about here ==
Methodology
Due to the recent emergence of this research topic, in order to achieve the three research goals,
this study applies an exploratory approach to gauge the drivers of and barriers to the use of P2P
accommodation. Following the definition provided by Belk (2014), this study focuses on P2P
accommodation rentals (such as Airbnb) and excludes free P2P accommodation (such as
Couchsurfing) and other forms of nonreciprocal, uncompensated social sharing practices. To
accommodate the global phenomenon of P2P accommodation, this study was designed to capture
responses from adult travellers residing in the US and Finland. The contrast between US and
Finland in terms of market sizes for P2P accommodation provides opportunities to assess the
similarities and differences in terms of market characteristics and motivations in order to make
inferences for generalizability of the research results.
A questionnaire was designed to explore the drivers and barriers to the use of P2P
accommodation. A list of 24 items corresponding to drivers (i.e., economic benefits,
sustainability, social connection, enjoyment, and other accommodation selection factors) and
barriers (i.e., trust, privacy and security, familiarity, cost, and other practical issues) to P2P
accommodation was developed following evidence suggested in literature (i.e., the sources
listed in Table 1). The items were read and verified for clarity by a group of experienced
researchers and undergraduate students in tourism to ensure face validity. Responses were
presented as a five-point Likert-type scale from 1Strongly Disagree to 5Strongly Agree. In
order to explain the market characteristics, demographic variables (i.e., gender, age, education
and income levels) and travel frequency were included in the questionnaire. To capture responses
from Finnish travellers, the questionnaire was translated into Finnish language by two bilingual
tourism experts. First, the experts translated the questionnaire from English to Finnish
independently. Then, the translated questionnaires were compared and once an agreement was
achieved, the Finnish questionnaire was translated back into English to ensure that the meanings
of the questionnaire stayed the same through the translation process.
The questionnaire was distributed through Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT, mturk.com)
to target adults residing in the US in August 2014 and sent to the M3 Online Panel
(m3research.com) members in Finland in December 2014. In order to capture high quality results
from the questionnaire distributed through AMT, this study was made available to respondents
with at least 98% approval rating (i.e., users with approval rating lower than 98% were not able
to view the task). Several independent-samples t-tests and chi-square statistics were utilized to
identify differences between users and non-users in order to distinguish the characteristics of the
market. Exploratory factor analyses, using principal component analysis (PCA) with Varimax
rotation, were utilized to identify the drivers of and barriers to the use of P2P accommodation.
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sample adequacy and Bartlett’s test of sphericity were employed
to assess the usefulness of factor analysis for the datasets. Cronbach’s alpha was used to estimate
reliability of the factors.
Results and discussion
A total of 799 adults residing in the US completed the survey, 61% of them are male and 39%
female. Respondents are relatively young, with 53% of them between the ages of 25-34 years,
22% of them are 24 years old or younger, and 15% between the ages of 35-44 years. About 38%
respondents have a 4-year college degree and 30% have some college education without a formal
degree. It is important to note that the majority of respondents are younger than the median age
of 37 (United States Census Bureau, n.d.) and male respondents are slightly larger in proportion
than female when compared to the breakdown of US population by gender. About 61% of
respondents have an annual income of less than US $60,000, with 15% in the range of $40,000-
$49,999 and 15% in the range of $30,000-$39,999. Out of 799 respondents, 754 of them stated
that they have taken at least an overnight trip for leisure and tourism purposes within the last six
months. Among these, the majority (599 travellers, 80%) has not used P2P accommodation; only
155 travellers (20%) indicated that they have used it before.
A total of 1246 responses were collected from Finland; 52% of them are male and 48%
female. In terms of age, Finnish respondents are more evenly distributed with 26% under the age
of 25 and 27% over the age of 65. The age, gender and living area distributions are very close to
the whole population distributions in Finland. About 35% of respondents have at least a college
degree, with 15.6% from university of applied sciences and the rest from general universities.
More than half of the respondents have an annual income of less than €45,000, with 22% in the
range of €15,000-€29,999 and 21% in the range of €30,000-€44,999. All respondents stated that
they have taken at least an overnight trip for leisure and tourism purposes; 79% of them travelled
more than three times a year, both domestically and abroad. Among respondents, about 24% of
them (295 respondents) have used P2P accommodation before, while the majority of them (951,
76%) have not. A comparison between the characteristics of respondents from the US and
Finland is presented in Table 2.
== Table 2 about here ==
Market Characteristics
Based on the chi-square statistics on the demographic characteristics between users and non-
users of P2P accommodation in the US, no significant differences were found in terms of gender
and age (in contrast to Olson, 2013). Significant differences were found in terms of education
(i.e., users are more educated than non-users, χ
2
= 29.79, df = 7, sig. = .00) and income (i.e.,
users have a higher income compared to non-users, χ
2
= 19.89, df = 14, sig. = .00; consistent with
Olson, 2013). This finding indicates that the P2P accommodation rental market in the US
consists of more educated consumers with higher income. On the other hand, a significant
difference was found among Finnish respondents in terms of gender (i.e., more male users than
female, χ
2
= 9.03, df = 1, sig. = .00). Significant differences were also found in terms of age (i.e.,
users are relatively younger than non-users, χ
2
= 65.52, df = 6, sig. = .00), and education (i.e.,
users are more educated than non-users, χ
2
= 54.48, df = 8, sig. = .00), which are consistent with
Olson (2013). No significant difference was found among users and non-users in terms of
income. Based on the demographic characteristics alone, it can be suggested that P2P
accommodation may imply more than just offering a low cost solution for travellers. Consumers
who are well educated may have a greater awareness of the value in collaborative consumption.
In terms of travel frequency, US users travel more often than non-users (χ
2
= 50.37, df =
3, sig. = .00) with 24% users travel more than three times a year and 51% travel 23 times a year,
compared to 11% and 39% for non-users, respectively. In terms of accommodation choices, the
majority in both groups (79% users and 83% non-users) indicated that they stay at hotels with
known brands (such as Hilton and Marriott), more users stay at independent and boutique hotels
(43%, compared to 27% non-users, χ
2
= 18.37, df = 1, sig. = .00), and more users stay at
timeshares or condo rentals (26%, compared to 11% non-users, χ
2
= 26.92, df = 1, sig. = .00)
during traveling. Likewise, among Finnish travellers, users of P2P accommodation also travel
more often (χ
2
= 42.12, df = 3, sig. = .00), with 92% of users travel more than three times
annually, compared to only 74% of non-users. Consistent with their American counterparts,
Finnish travellers also indicated that they stay at hotels with known brands (79% non-users and
93% users), with more P2P accommodation users stay in independent or boutique hotels (68%
users, compared to 33% non-users, χ
2
= 103.15, df = 1, sig. = .00), as well as condos or
timeshares (87% users, compared to 30% non-users, χ
2
= 282.40, df = 1, sig. = .00). This
suggests that consumers of P2P accommodation are more open to use different types of
accommodation other than hotels with established brands offering predictable experiences. Thus,
they may be more accustomed to variation in quality standards and exposed to unique, personal
experiences.
Drivers of P2P Accommodation Use
An exploratory factor analysis with responses from American travellers revealed two underlying
factors that drive the use of P2P accommodation. They are labelled as “Social Appeal” and
Economic Appeal” (see Table 3). The two factors explain 62.55% of the total variance. Kaiser-
Meyer-Olkin measure of sample adequacy (.73) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity (χ
2
= 388.28, df
= 28, sig. = .00) indicate that factor analysis is appropriate for this data. Cronbach’s alpha of .70
or more supports the reliability of both scales. First, the use of P2P accommodation among
respondents in the US was driven by the social motivation to get to know, interact and connect
with local communities in a more meaningful way, to experience tourism destinations as a local,
and to contribute to local residents, which is consistent with Botsman and Rogers’s (2010) and
Owyang’s (2013) suggestion on the societal drivers of collaborative consumption. The second
factor suggests that getting quality accommodation with lower cost drove American travellers to
choose P2P accommodation, which is consistent with suggestions from literature regarding the
low-budget appeal of collaborative consumption (Botsman & Rogers, 2010; Gansky, 2010;
Guttentag, 2013; Lamberton & Rose, 2012; Owyang, 2013; Sacks, 2011).
== Table 3 about here ==
As seen in Table 4, both factors have significant correlations with users’ future intention
to use P2P accommodation, with Economic Appeal (r =.42, sig. = .00) having a stronger
correlation coefficient compared to Social Appeal (r =.19, sig. = .00). These suggest that cost
savings will continue to appeal to American travellers to use P2P accommodation in the future
alongside the desire for a stronger sense of community and social responsibility. The only
significant correlation between market characteristics and drivers of P2P accommodation use
was found between age and Economic Appeal (r = -.28, sig. = .00), indicating that collaborative
consumption are associated with financial benefits for younger users. Furthermore, users in the
US stated that it is highly likely for them to use P2P accommodation again in the future (Mean =
4.24, s.d. = .78). The future intention has significant correlations with education and travel
frequency, confirming that more educated and experienced travellers are likely to use P2P
accommodation in the future.
== Table 4 about here ==
Secondly, an exploratory factor analysis using responses from Finnish travellers revealed
the same two factors (see Table 5), explaining 71.07% of the total variance. Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin
measure of sample adequacy (.84) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity (χ
2
= 1195.52, df = 28, sig. =
.00) indicate that factor analysis is appropriate for this data. Cronbach’s alpha of .80 or more
supports the reliability of the two scales. Table 6 shows significant correlations between age and
Social Appeal factor (i.e., older travellers are associated with higher social responsibility drive),
as well as between gender and Economic Appeal (i.e., female travellers are associated with
larger cost savings) and between travel frequency and Economic Appeal (i.e., more frequent
travellers are associated with larger cost savings). These results indicate that while the low
budget appeal can be effective particularly for female travellers and those who travel more
frequently, the notion that collaborative consumption is a more sustainable business model and
one that creates stronger communities will appeal to older travellers. Even though slightly lower
than users in the US, users in Finland also stated that it is likely for them to use P2P
accommodation again in the future (Mean = 3.59, s.d. = 1.03). The two drivers are significantly
correlated with the future intention, with Economic Appeal (r = .37, sig. = .00) having a higher
correlation coefficient than Social Appeal (r = .22, sig. = .00). Again, this is consistent with the
results from American travellers.
== Table 5 about here ==
== Table 6 about here ==
Barriers to P2P Accommodation Use
Exploratory factor analyses were also employed to identify the underlying factors that prevented
travellers from using P2P accommodation. First, using responses from the US, three factors
emerged and labelled as “Trust”, “Efficacy”, and “Cost” (see Table 7), which explain 74.80% of
the total variance. Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sample adequacy (.78) and Bartlett’s test of
sphericity (χ
2
= 2472.12, df = 36, sig. = .00) indicate that factor analysis is appropriate for this
data. All factors have Cronbach’s alpha of .70 or higher, indicating their reliability. The first
factor that deterred American travelers from using P2P rentals represents their distrust toward the
hosts (i.e., including concerns of privacy and safety) and the online platform used to
communicate and execute transactions (i.e., payment), which is consistent with the issues raised
by Olson (2013), Keymolen (2013), and Owyang (2013). Secondly, American travelers did not
use P2P accommodation simply because they did not have sufficient information to use the
system and, thus, they perceive that the process is not easy to do. The third hindrance is the cost
factor; travellers chose not to use P2P accommodation because it did not generate sufficient cost
savings to be considered valuable. This is consistent with previous literature on commercial
sharing systems suggesting that consumers will only participate if the benefits outweigh the
effort of collaborative consumption (e.g., Hennig-Thurau, Henning, & Sattler, 2007; Lamberton
& Rose, 2012)
== Table 7 about here ==
Table 8 presents the correlations between the barrier factors, respondents’ characteristics,
travel frequency, and the likelihood of using P2P accommodation in the future. It is important to
note the significant negative correlations between future intention and Trust (r = -.37, sig. = .00)
and Cost (r = -.10, sig. = .00). These suggest the importance of addressing the issues of trust (i.e.,
eliminating the privacy and safety concerns) and enhancing the economic benefits of P2P
accommodation to remove the barriers and allow more consumers to use the service. Significant
correlations were also found between education and Trust (i.e., more educated respondents are
associated with lack of trust and increased concerns of safety/privacy) and Efficacy (i.e., less
educated respondents are associated with lack of efficacy). Hence, an increase in users’
familiarity with the platform and/or the community within the sharing economy, especially
targeted to those with lower education level (e.g., making the system more persuasive and user-
friendly), may reduce the barriers among American travellers. While most non-users indicated
that it is unlikely for them to use P2P accommodation in the future (Mean = 2.89, s.d. = .85), its
positive correlations with travel frequency (r = .21, sig. = .00) indicate that as people travel more
frequently, they may be more open to P2P accommodation as an alternative option in the future.
== Table 8 about here ==
Secondly, using responses from Finnish travellers, two factors emerged from an
exploratory factor analysis. They are labelled as “Value, consisting a combination of items that
make up the factors of trust and cost among American travellers, and “Efficacy” (see Table 9),
explaining 68.51% of the total variance. Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sample adequacy (.85)
and Bartlett’s test of sphericity (χ
2
= 4586.89, df = 36, sig. = .00) indicate that the factor analysis
is appropriate for this data. The first factor preventing Finnish travellers from using P2P
accommodation represents their distrust toward the service and the values it delivers. In addition
to the privacy and security issues raised by Olson (2013), Keymolen (2013), and Owyang
(2013), this factor also comprises travellers’ concern about economic benefits (i.e., collaborative
consumption does not bring sufficient economic benefits for travellers). While the first factor
demonstrates an extent of knowledge regarding P2P accommodation business and the values it
delivers, the second factor indicates lack of information and efficacy to use the system
(consistent with the results from American travellers).
== Table 9 about here ==
As presented in Table 10, the Value factor is negatively correlated with the likelihood of
using P2P accommodation in the future (r = -.11, sig. = .00), making it an important barrier to
eliminate (consistent with the results from the US). The only significant correlation between
respondents’ characteristics and the barriers was found between age and Efficacy factor (r = .07,
sig. = .00), indicating that older respondents are associated with lack of knowledge and ability to
use the system. Therefore, an increase in users’ familiarity with and ease of use of the online
platform, especially for older users, may reduce the barrier to P2P accommodation. Finnish
respondents who have not used P2P accommodation also stated that it is unlikely for them to use
it in the future (Mean = 2.37, s.d. = 1.13), especially among older travellers (r = -.18, sig. = .00).
However, its positive correlation with travel frequency (r = .23, sig. = .00) suggests that more
frequent travellers may be open to use P2P accommodation in the future.
== Table 10 about here ==
Conclusion and Recommendation
Addressing the increasing importance of providing empirical evidence to explain the disruptive
force of collaborative consumption in the tourism and hospitality marketplace, this study
explores the market characteristics as well as the drivers of and barriers to the use of P2P
accommodation. The market characteristics for collaborative consumption were derived from
comparing groups of users and non-users in the US and Finland in terms of their demographic
characteristics and travel behaviour. The results suggest that, even though generally associated
with lower cost, P2P accommodation attracted not only budget-conscious consumers, but also
those in the high-income brackets, especially among American travellers. Consistently, users in
the US and Finland are highly educated, travel more often, and use less conventional types of
accommodation (e.g., boutique hotels, condo rentals and timeshare, etc.). It can be suggested that
the market for P2P accommodation comprises of experienced travellers who are more
accustomed to different standards of quality in accommodation and, thus, open to less-
predictable, but unique travel experiences as they enjoy staying with local residents.
Consistent between American and Finnish travellers, the drivers of P2P accommodation
rental use can be explained in two factors: economic appeal (i.e., cost savings) and social appeal
(i.e., desire for community/sustainability). As suggested in literature and the media, P2P rentals
appeal to consumers as a low cost alternative to the well-established accommodation services
(Botsman & Rogers, 2010; Gansky, 2010; Guttentag, 2013; Lamberton & Rose, 2012; Owyang,
2013; Sacks, 2011). Travellers in the US and Finland use P2P accommodation because they
believe it helps lower their travel cost and they get more value from paying less for the quality
accommodation they receive while traveling. The cost saving factor is associated with younger
travellers among Americans and with female and frequent travellers among Finns. Importantly,
the cost saving factor is significantly correlated with the likelihood of using P2P accommodation
in the future, making it an important competitive advantage for the business of collaborative
consumption. Secondly, the use of P2P accommodation is driven by factors other than cost,
which include a desire for social relationship (i.e., to have a meaningful social interactions) and
to have a stronger community (Albinsson & Perera, 2012), a drive for social responsibility (i.e.,
to contribute to local residents) and sustainability (Botsman & Rogers, 2010; Luchs et al., 2011;
Walsh 2011), and to experience tourism destinations like locals (i.e., to get insider tips). This
explains the social and experiential appeal of collaborative consumption by providing guests
with the feeling of being integrated in the local community and access to local (i.e., insider)
experiences. This also supports the suggestion from Guttentag (2013), stating that P2P
accommodation provides access to MacCannell’s (1973) concept of ‘back regions,’ offering
tourists with intimacy of relationships and authentic experiences. P2P accommodation thus
provides tourists with hospitality that they cannot receive from hotels and other accommodation
providers. It might not be considered professional (Brotherton, 1999), but more authentic and,
hence, valuable. For example, studies on Airbnb (2015) show that hosts are willing to go an extra
mile for their customers and provide them with unique hospitality experiences. Among Finnish
travellers, the social appeal factor is significantly correlated with older consumers. The
significant positive correlation between the social appeal and future intention, consistent between
American and Finnish travellers, emphasizes its strategic importance for P2P accommodation.
Therefore, from the market characteristics and the analyses of the factors driving the use of P2P
accommodation, this study suggests that collaborative consumption penetrates the lodging
market not only as a low cost alternative to hotels, but more so as a new, more socially
responsible and rewarding way of traveling. Consequently, it has the potential to penetrate a
bigger market, capturing those outside of the low-budget segment.
In terms of barriers to collaborative consumption, exploratory factor analyses produced
inconsistent results between American and Finnish travellers. One factor that was identified
consistently between the two groups is efficacy. Travellers did not use P2P accommodation
simply because they have a lack of knowledge (i.e., they do not know what it was) or ability (i.e.,
they do not know how to use it). Considering the short period since the introduction of this
business model, it is reasonable to suggest that there are a significant number of consumers
having limited knowledge about (or are unaware of) this alternative accommodation.
Additionally, as with other forms of innovation, according to diffusion of innovation theory
(Rogers, 2003), collaborative consumption might take more time to reach a group of consumers
who are typically in the late majority and/or laggards. This factor is significantly correlated with
education among American travellers (i.e., low education associated with less efficacy) and age
among Finnish travellers (i.e., older travellers associated with less efficacy). Importantly,
efficacy factor is negatively correlated with future intention among Finnish travellers, making it
an important barrier to eliminate. Secondly, the barrier to P2P accommodation among American
travellers is trust, which includes distrust toward the host and technology (i.e., mistrust between
strangers, concerns of safety and privacy). This finding is aligned with previous literature
suggesting consumers’ concerns regarding safety and security with tourism and hospitality
services involving online transactions and payment (e.g., Kim et al., 2005). Furthermore, the
significant negative correlation between trust factor and future intention makes trust between
strangers and toward online platform a substantial obstacle in collaborative consumption.
Finally, lack of cost savings (i.e., staying at P2P accommodation does not generate sufficient
reduction in travel cost) is the third factor that deterred American travellers from using P2P
accommodation. This factor is significantly correlated, negatively, with future intention, making
it an important barrier to ease. The last two factors emerged as one factor among Finnish
travellers, interpreted as perceived lack of value and trust.
Based on these findings, several managerial implications for P2P accommodation are
suggested in order to reduce barrier to entry and increase participation. First, because cost is an
important motivating factor and its absence is a barrier to the use of P2P accommodation, it is
critical for these businesses to convey the economic benefits to the consumers to emphasize this
competitive edge. Particularly, the economic appeal should be targeted to younger demographics
and those who travel more frequently (i.e., experienced travellers). Second, in order to expand
beyond the budget-conscious market, it is critical to convey the social appeal of collaborative
consumption by highlighting the aspects of community, authenticity, and sustainability. As
confirmed by the findings in this study, P2P accommodation also draw users from higher income
brackets and higher education levels. Associating collaborative consumption with intimacy and
kinship, community building and responsible lifestyle will add to the competitive advantage of
P2P accommodation. Third, considering trust as a significant challenge, P2P accommodation
businesses need to develop a platform that helps increase trust among users (e.g., with the
inclusion of reputation scoring or other regulatory measures that work toward consumer
protection) as well as increase users’ trust on the web and mobile platforms (i.e., providing safe
and secure transaction, data/identity protection, etc.). Lastly, as familiarity and efficacy factor is
one of the important hurdles in collaborative consumption, it is important to increase awareness
and familiarity with this business model among consumers.
In response to this sprouting business model, hotels and other accommodation businesses
need to rethink their strategies to stay competitive. First, the cost saving factor presents a
substantial challenge for budget hotels and other accommodation targeting budget-conscious
consumers to compete directly with P2P accommodation (in line with Zervas et al., 2014). In
addition to increasing efficiency in their operations to achieve cost leadership, budget hotels can
leverage their brand (for franchise) and networks (for alliance) to appeal to cost-conscious
frequent travellers with discounts through loyalty/rewards programs. Second, while mid-range
and luxury hotels are relatively safe from the cost saving requirement, the social appeal of P2P
accommodation (i.e., intimacy, relationship, authenticity, etc.) might be the values not easily
paralleled by hotel offerings. Hotels can maintain their competitive edge by encouraging more
personal interactions between guests and staff or introducing unique experiences relevant to the
locale in addition to their core services. Additionally, hotels should also take advantage of their
loyalty program by building a community among club members. This way, hotels could offer
added values that appeal to consumers’ sense of community. From hotel operators point of
view, it is critical to study P2P accommodation and why their popularity is rapidly increasing.
By studying the traveller motivations, hoteliers and hospitality industry will be able to better
understand the advantages of P2P accommodation and find ways to prepare for the growth of
this disruptive business model (Sigala, 2015). Understanding that the advantages of P2P
accommodation, which may reflect disadvantages of hotels, will assist hotels in better
understanding the customers and what they value. To that end, collaborative consumption serves
an example of how accommodation industry has to develop a close connection with their
customers and accommodate their ever changing needs and wants.
This exploratory research provides empirical support to explain the phenomenon of
collaborative consumption in tourism and hospitality. Due to the infancy of this research area,
the main limitation of this research lies in the limited pool of relevant concepts to draw the
measurement items for the analysis. Hence, the results in this study should open a pathway for
further research in the area. Future studies should explore the factors that did not converge in this
study, such as enjoyment (i.e., intrinsic motives) and general hotel selection factors. Also,
verifying the results by applying the analysis in different contexts (e.g., different geographic
locations and cultures, various travel purposes, etc.) will provide support for the applicability and
generalizability of the findings in this study. Further, in order to assess the longevity of P2P
accommodation, future studies should assess the contribution of the different motivational
factors on guests’ satisfaction, attitude, intention, and behaviour.
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Table 1. Drivers of and Barriers to Collaborative Consumption: Summary from Literature
Factors
Definition
Literature
Drivers
Economic benefits
Collaborative consumption offers more value
with less cost.
Botsman & Rogers, 2010;
Gansky, 2010; Guttentag,
2013; Lamberton & Rose,
2012; Sacks, 2011
Sustainability
Collaborative consumption reduces the
development of new products and the
consumption of raw materials.
Collaborative consumption supports local
residents and local economy.
Botsman & Rogers, 2010;
Luchs et al., 2011
Community
Collaborative consumption offers
opportunities to create and maintain social
connections and sense of community.
Albinsson & Perera (2012);
Botsman & Rogers, 2010;
Guttentag, 2013; Owyang,
2013
Enjoyment
Participation in collaborative consumption is
enjoyable.
Ease of use and good amount of information
provided in the system.
Hamari, Sjöklint, &
Ukkonen (2013);
Zekanović-Korona and
Grzunov (2014)
Barriers
Trust
Lack of interpersonal trust (guests hosts),
lack of trust toward technology, lack of trust
toward the company.
Botsman & Rogers, 2010;
Guttentag, 2013;
Keymolen, 2013; Olson,
2013; Teubner, 2014
Value
Concerns of receiving bad quality products
and services and that the value from
collaborative consumption is not worth the
effort.
Lack of cost savings.
Buczynski, 2013; Hennig-
Thurau, Henning, & Sattler,
2007; Olson, 2013
Familiarity
Participation in collaborative consumption
requires mastering complex technology
platforms.
Chong, Ooi, & Sohal,
2009; Park, Suh, & Lee,
2004
Table 2. Characteristics of Respondents
United States
Characteristics
N
%
Characteristics
N
%
Gender
Gender
Female
306
38.6
Female
602
48.3
Male
484
61.1
Male
644
51.7
Age
Age
24 years or younger
170
21.4
24 years or younger
119
9.3
25 34 years
420
53.0
25 34 years
202
16.2
35 44 years
124
15.7
35 44 years
205
16.5
45 54 years
51
6.4
45 54 years
193
15.5
55 64 years
21
2.7
55 64 years
187
15.1
65 years or older
5
.6
65 years or older
330
26.7
Education
Education
Less than High School
4
.5
Elementary School
126
10.2
High School/GED
99
12.5
Vocational School
270
21.9
Some College
237
29.9
High School
150
12.2
2-Year College Degree
75
9.5
Trade-level Education
249
20.2
4-Year College Degree
295
37.2
University of Applied Sciences
192
15.4
Master’s Degree
67
8.1
University, Bachelor
69
5.5
Doctoral Degree
5
.6
University, Master
126
10.2
Professional (JD, MD)
8
1.0
University, PhD
16
1.3
Income
Income
Under $20,000
116
14.6
Under €15,000
136
10.9
$20,000 - $29,999
105
13.3
€15,000 - €29,999
252
20.2
$30,000 - $39,999
114
14.4
€30,000 - €44,999
243
19.5
$40,000 - $49,999
112
14.1
€45,000 - €59,999
194
15.6
$50,000 - $59,999
82
10.4
€60,000 - €74,999
156
12.5
$60,000 - $69,999
69
8.7
€75,000 - €89,999
83
6.7
$70,000 - $79,999
63
8.0
€90,000 or more
90
7.2
$80,000 - $89,999
36
4.5
$90,000 - $99,999
30
3.8
$100,000 - $109,999
26
3.3
$110,000 or more
43
5.0
Travel Frequency (Domestic & International)
About once every other year
115
14.5
About once every other year
55
4.4
About once a year
220
27.8
About once a year
71
5.7
2 3 times a year
311
39.3
2 3 times a year
141
11.3
More than 3 times a year
101
12.8
More than 3 times a year
979
78.6
P2P Accommodation Use
P2P Accommodation Use
Yes
155
19.4
Yes
295
23.7
Other Accommodation Use
Other Accommodation Use
Known Brand Hotels
622
78.5
Known Brand Hotels
988
82.4
Independent/Boutique Hotels
225
28.4
Independent/Boutique Hotels
480
41.7
Condo/Timeshares
107
13.5
Condo/Timeshares
503
43.8
Family & Friends
404
51.0
Family & Friends
958
80.9
Table 3. Drivers of Use of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation, United States (N = 155)
Factors
Factor
Loading
Eigenval
ue
Cumulative
Percent
Cronbach’s
Alpha
Social Appeal
3.01
37.62%
.83
…I would like to get to know people from the
local neighborhoods.
.83
…I would like to have a more meaningful
interaction with the hosts.
.79
…I would like to get insiders’ tips on local
attractions.
.76
…I would like to support the local residents.
.74
…it was a more sustainable business model.
.69
Economic Appeal
1.99
62.55%
.73
…it saved me money.
.82
…it helped me lower my travel cost.
.81
…I would like to have higher quality
accommodation with less money.
.73
Table 4. Correlations between Market Characteristics and Drivers of Use of Peer-to-Peer
Accommodation, United States (N = 155)
Factors
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
D: Social Appeal (1)
-
D: Economic Appeal (2)
n.s.
-
Future Intention (3)
.19
**
.42
**
-
Gender (4)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
-
Age (5)
n.s.
-.28
**
n.s.
.16
**
-
Education (6)
n.s.
n.s.
.09
**
n.s.
n.s.
-
Income (7)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
.07
**
.23
**
-
Travel Frequency (8)
n.s.
n.s.
.21
**
n.s.
n.s.
.18
**
.26
**
Note:
**
Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed).
Table 5. Drivers of Use of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation, Finland (N = 295)
Factors
Factor
Loading
Eigenval
ue
Cumulative
Percent
Cronbach’s
Alpha
Social Appeal
4.44
55.50%
.88
…I would like to get to know people from the
local neighborhoods.
.87
…I would like to support the local residents.
.80
…I would like to have a more meaningful
interaction with the hosts.
.79
…it was a more sustainable business model.
.75
…I would like to get insiders’ tips on local
attractions.
.73
Economic Appeal
1.25
71.07%
.81
…it saved me money.
.90
…it helped me lower my travel cost.
.89
…I would like to have higher quality
accommodation with less money.
.64
Table 6. Correlations between Market Characteristics and Drivers of Use of Peer-to-Peer
Accommodation, Finland (N = 295)
Factors
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
D: Social Appeal (1)
-
D: Economic Appeal (2)
.55
**
-
Future Intention (3)
.22
**
.37
**
-
Gender (4)
n.s.
.26
**
n.s.
-
Age (5)
.15
**
n.s.
-.18
**
n.s.
-
Education (6)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
.17
**
-
Income (7)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
-.13
**
.22
**
.27
**
-
Travel Frequency (8)
n.s.
.15
**
.23
**
n.s.
n.s.
.15
**
.19
**
Note:
**
Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed).
Table 7. Barriers to the Use of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation, United States (N = 599)
Factors
Factor
Loading
Eigenva
lue
Cumulative
Percent
Cronbach’s
Alpha
Trust
3.67
40.76%
.87
…I was concerned about safety.
.88
…I was concerned about privacy.
.86
…I did not trust the host(s).
.85
…I did not trust the online platform to
execute the transaction.
.67
Efficacy
2.02
63.68%
.74
…I did not have enough information about
how it works.
.89
…I did not know what it is.
.85
…it was not easy to search for the list of
vacation rentals online.
.68
Cost
1.00
74.80%
.80
…it was more expensive than staying at
hotels.
.88
…it did not save me enough money.
.84
Table 8. Correlations between Market Characteristics and Barriers to the Use of Peer-to-Peer
Accommodation, United States (N = 599)
Factors
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
B: Trust (1)
-
B: Efficacy (2)
n.s.
-
B: Cost (3)
.51
**
n.s.
-
Future Intention (4)
-.37
**
n.s.
-.10
**
-
Gender (5)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
-
Age (6)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
.16
**
-
Education (7)
.08
**
-.13
**
n.s.
.09
**
n.s.
n.s.
-
Income (8)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
.07
**
.23
**
-
Travel Frequency (9)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
.21
**
n.s.
n.s.
.18
**
.26
**
Note:
**
Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed).
Table 9. Barriers to the Use of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation, Finland (N = 951)
Factors
Factor
Loading
Eigenva
lue
Cumulative
Percent
Cronbach’s
Alpha
Value
4.69
52.18%
.89
…I was concerned about safety.
.85
…I was concerned about privacy.
.83
…I did not trust the host(s).
.82
…I did not trust the online platform to
execute the transaction.
.76
…it did not save me enough money.
.75
…it was more expensive than staying at
hotels.
.67
Efficacy
1.47
68.51%
.82
…I did not have enough information about
how it works.
.90
…I did not know what it was.
.87
…it was not easy to search for the list of
vacation rentals online.
.70
Table 10. Correlations between Market Characteristics and Barriers to the Use of Peer-to-Peer
Accommodation, Finland (N = 951)
Factors
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
B: Value (1)
-
B: Efficacy (2)
.47
**
-
Future Intention (3)
-.11
**
n.s.
-
Gender (4)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
-
Age (5)
n.s.
.07
**
-.18
**
n.s.
-
Education (6)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
.17
**
-
Income (7)
n.s.
n.s.
n.s.
-.13
**
.22
**
.27
**
-
Travel Frequency (8)
n.s.
n.s.
.23
**
n.s.
n.s.
.15
**
.19
**
Note:
**
Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed).
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