RESEARCH INTO COSTS VERSUS BENEFITS OF P2P ACCOMMODATIONS

Dillon DuBois | study emphasized that imposed costs outweighed any positive outcomes brought about by Airbnb and their interactions with guests in their neighborhood and residential environment. Thus, as the costs exceed benefits or rewards, residents are led to develop negative perceptions of P2P accommodations. Specifically, the results from this study clearly suggest that the impacts felt by residents are highly penetrating their daily life, spanning across a range of economic, social and environmental influences which in turn increase neighborhood problems by altering not only the spatial elements comprising neighborhoods but also the social relations among residents at the individual and collective levels. Seen from this perspective, the rise of P2P accommodation acts as a driver of touristification, which results in several impacts emanating from ‘overtourism’ (Stors and Baltes, 2018), albeit examined here within the residential context. Indeed, in exploring why residents perceive certain impacts, the interview data from this study suggest that the perceived impacts of P2P accommodation are ultimately related to their location in the residential environment of research participants.While it is not uncommon for tourists to visit local residential areas to have a meal or visit attractions, short-term rentals in residential areas increase length of stay, bringing a higher probability of impacts affecting immediate neighbors (e.g. disruptive behavior, noise) as well as the ‘touristification’ of the local community (Gurran, 2018). How-ever, in residential areas, tourism-associated impacts are particularly concerning as the micro-level of neighborhoods represents the basis of societal structures and processes. Resident displacement through rising rents and evictions, and the loss of the sense of community as guests replace residents as neighbors, emerging from this study and the widerP2P accommodation literature (e.g. Gurran and Phibbs, 2017;Guttentag, 2015), are testimony to this. In light of these conclusions, the study carries both theoretical and practical implications.


5.3. Practical implications Consequently, then, tourism planners need to embed in their policymaking agendas an anthropocentric approach that considers the needs and voices of different types of residents. This is a crucial planning and policy consideration because if resident needs are neglected over tourist demands, residents may exhibit hostile response toward tourists and tourism advocates (Sharpley, 2014). Indeed, Jordan et al(2019) suggested the need for policymakers to consider the socio-psychological impacts of tourism on residents’ emotional well-being; thus, highlighting the importance of resident opinions and feelings in tourism planning. As shown in Fig. 1, residents may be categorised in accordance to their perceptions of P2P accommodation impacts and subsequent actions, either positively contributing or impairing this form of development. Considering that residents’ support of tourism is critical for destination success (Lin et al., 2017), residents advocating the P2P accommodation phenomenon’s growth may be appropriately informed and supported in exploiting micro-level entrepreneurial pursuits related to the emergence of short-term rentals in their residential areas. On the contrary, the voices of residents opposing P2P accommodation may be addressed in policymaking through socially-inclusive activities that will aim at strengthening potential benefits while mitigating the adverse effects of the phenomenon’s rapid growth in neighbourhoods. It is also important that policymaking highlights the role of the platform in regulating the behaviour of hosts and guests and, subsequently, embeds the impacts on residents at the neighbourhood level within existing operational processes. For example, as this study showed, residents are beginning to self organise and, thus, represent a potential lobby group that may exercise pressures on policymaking for P2P accommodation networks. Likewise, as afore-mentioned, residents’ behaviour towards P2P accommodation guests may either positively or negatively influence tourist experiences. Given that residents form an important part of the P2P accommodation experience with many guests desiring to engage with local communities, the unwillingness of residents to interact with visitors presents a paradoxical situation.Therefore, it might be worth to consider how the needs of residents maybe incorporated in platform policies and regulations that guide host and guest conduct. For instance, Airbnb might consider developing programmes that educate and inform guests on the importance of their interactions with locals and the effects these may have on communities. Connected to this is the need for platforms to train hosts to encourage their guests to be sensitive to the lifestyle of locals and interact with them in respectful ways. Recently, Airbnb added a series of features on its website in an attempt to target guests who would not otherwise book accommodation on P2P accommodation networks, including AirbnbPlus and superhost and superguest programmes that reward hosts and guests for their performance. Similarly, Airbnb has launched the Neighbours platform–a complaint centre that allows neighbours to report their complaints about listings or guests in their vicinity. In relation to these features, it might be worth exploring whether the plat-form could incorporate residents’ ratings of hosts and guests on their respective scores and/or reward hosts who respond to their neighbours’ concerns and requests. Airbnb might also consider enhancing communication with residents who may not have the means or the skills to use technology to make complaints (i.e. elderly residents).Further, policymakers may delve into the potential involvement of residents in the monitoring of P2P accommodation by examining local community self-regulation activities that can serve as best practice examples as well as municipal initiatives aiming to mitigate any potential problems while leveraging benefits. For instance, the exploitation of economic benefits may be enhanced through entrepreneurial educational workshops. Similarly, communities can develop interaction programmes, tailored to the lifestyle of local residents, enhance guests’ awareness on the local way of life, and avert behaviours deemed inappropriate by locals. Community initiatives may also be carried out to strengthen the integration between residents in need (i.e. elderly) with certain types of tourists like volunteer tourists.Arguably, including residents in the sharing practice may not only strengthen the collective identity of the local society but also extend potential benefits to parties other than ‘hosts’ and ‘guests’; nevertheless,P2P accommodation networks play a significant role in moderating interactions and should serve as the first of several regulatory attempts.

5.4. Limitations and suggestions for further research Like most other empirical studies, our work is subject to some limitations, which provide avenues for further research. First, although SET guided our inquiry, other theories may be relevant too and could reveal different aspects of the increasingly important topic of perceived impacts of the P2P accommodation phenomenon. Second, the purposive sampling approach ensured that key informants were selected based on their direct experience of the topic under investigation, yet their views may not be representative of the general community’s views. For this reason, future studies may usefully expand their sampling techniques to reflect a more diverse range of local residents. In addition, more generalisable results may be achieved through quantitative research methods. Third, the impacts of P2P accommodation on Koukaki likely differ from other destinations. Researchers should therefore seek to undertake similar investigations in different destination contexts, with a view to overcoming the possible constraint of destination-specific attributes (e.g. levels of development, types of tourism) and uncovering new and unique impacts. Finally, residents offer one important perspective on the impacts of P2P accommodation; comparative studies examining the views of other stakeholder groups directly and/or indirectly involved in P2P accommodation are welcomed to illuminate knowledge on the multi-faceted influence of P2P accommodation on the economic and social spheres of local communities.


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