Airbnb: turning the collaborative economy into a collaborative society

Michael O'Regan, Jaeyeon Choe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


New decentralised collaborative platforms are said to be challenging and redesigning traditional business models and reinventing how the tourism business works. Collectively termed the ‘collaborative economy’, these platforms are increasingly intersecting with the established tourism industry and how a tourist interacts with host communities, destinations and other tourists. By utilising the concept of cultural capitalism to explore the global “disruptive” brand Airbnb, we find that the collaborative economy is not about collaboration at all, and argue that the Airbnb platform is merely reinforcing the values of consumer capitalist society by providing a more efficient means to satisfy tourist wants and desires. While we conclude that collaborative economy in its manifest forms will continue, we believe the tourism industry is well placed to address its impacts, and recommend that authorities should recognise parts of the collaborative economy as predatory laissez-faire platform capitalism in need of regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaborative Economy and Tourism: Perspectives, Politics, Policies and Prospects
Editors Dianne Dredge, Szilvia Gyimóthy
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319517995
ISBN (Print)9783319847443
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameTourism on the Verge
ISSN (Print)2366-2611
ISSN (Electronic)2366-262X


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