Dirk Schmücker, Ulf Sonntag, Philipp Wagner

Measuring the impact of «shared accommodation» in city tourism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: City Tourism; Sharing Economy; Digital Platforms; Tourism Statistics; Impact Measurement; Tourism Accommodations.

The influence of renting out beds, rooms and apartments through platforms of the sharing economy («hosting platforms») on local economy and community life is heavily discussed, specifically in cities. On the one hand, Airbnb, Wimdu, 9flats and others are an opportunity for residents to gain additional income and to meet interesting people from other parts of the world. On the other hand, these offers might lead to irritation for the neighbours, rising prices for living space and price pressure for hotels. Knowledge about the offer on hosting platforms is essential to gain understanding of the impacts. This paper will show our recent experiences regarding important questions that many cities are facing. Based on listing data «scraped» from the Airbnb website without knowledge of Airbnb, a methodology quite widely used for academic and commercial purposes, we will show the results of our research: How can these listing data be used to analyse volumes of capacities and demand, the geographical distribution, development over time and structure of the hosts? Coming to our conclusions, we think that this approach can provide an excellent basis to assess the impacts of «shared accommodation» on local economies, neighbourhoods and housing, leading to a more precise picture about the extent of use, overuse and gentrification in a city destination. Furthermore, it can provide a factual basis for the discussion of measurement and control mechanisms, be it in terms of administrative regulation, destination marketing or involving locals.

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