Tours and activities in the sharing economy (article published)

Current Issues in Tourism (impact index: 3,40, Q1 of JCR) has published the article «Tours and activities in the sharing economy» authored by Santiago Melián-González, Jacques Bulchand-Gidumal and Inmaculada González Cabrera.

With the recent entrance of Airbnb, the sharing economy in the tours and activities sector has grown significantly. Due to its novelty, it is an area that has not been explored in the literature. This research is a first approach to the sector and its characteristics. We implemented a two-step methodology. First, we used a quantitative approach and analyzed the Airbnb Experiences’ available offer in four major destinations in Spain (the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Madrid and Barcelona), and we compared this offer to that of two platforms that commercialize traditional tours and activities (GetYourGuide and Viator). We then used a qualitative approach by conducting semi-structured interviews with fifteen professional businesses that use the Airbnb platform as a distribution channel. We present several conclusions: the offer of tours and activities available in the sharing economy overlaps with the existing one in other B2C platforms, but it also presents some new features and types of activities; providers are a combination of professionals and amateurs; and customers are highly satisfied with the tours and activities they get in the sharing economy.

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