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Title: The co-creation of host-guest relationships via couchsurfing : a qualitative study
Authors: Schuckert, M 
Peters, M
Pilz, G
Keywords: Hospitality network
Nontraditional accommodation
Travel behaviour
Sharing economy
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Centre for Tourism Research & Development
Source: Tourism recreation research, 2018, v. 43, no. 2, p. 220-234 How to cite?
Journal: Tourism recreation research 
Abstract: Online hospitality and traveller platforms have spawned novel formulas of hospitality for new networks of hosts and guests, including couchsurfers, who, while staying in the private homes of hosts, explore destinations while living as and with locals. As a growing phenomenon in the non-traditional accommodation sector, couchsurfing has attracted sustained attention in tourism, since, unlike traditional hospitality formulas and even non-traditional ones such as Airbnb, couchsurfers and their hosts do not pay any tourism-related taxes or fees. To understand the motivations and behaviours of couchsurfers and hosts, we conducted 14 narrative interviews with couchsurfers in Austria, who painted detailed pictures of the patterns of their travel behaviour, their perceptions of host-guest relationships, and the relevance of those relationships to the couchsurfers' overall travel experiences. Results reveal that couchsurfers generally travel as backpackers do and, as such, seek out diverse social interactions with locals that afford them various degrees of familiarity with destinations. The results also underscore that couchsurfing constitutes a cultural exchange and accommodation experience beyond the mere consumption of hospitality products. Accordingly, the community of couchsurfers represents interesting territory for further research in tourism, particularly given its capacity to meet consumers' demands for authentic experiences in tourism.
ISSN: 0250-8281
EISSN: 2320-0308
DOI: 10.1080/02508281.2017.1384127
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