The accommodation experiencescape: a comparative assessment of hotels and Airbnb
Mody, Makarand Amrish
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Citation (published version)Makarand Amrish Mody, Courtney Suess, Xinran Lehto. 2017. "The accommodation experiencescape: a comparative assessment of hotels and Airbnb." International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp. 2377 - 2404.
PURPOSE: Accommodations providers in the sharing economy are increasingly competing with the hotel industry vis-à-vis the guest experience. Additionally, experience-related research remains underrepresented in the hospitality and tourism literature. This paper aims to develop and test a model of experiential consumption to provide a better understanding of an emerging phenomenon in the hospitality industry. In so doing, the authors also expand Pine and Gilmore’s original experience economy construct. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Using data from a survey of 630 customers who stayed at a hotel or an Airbnb in the previous three months, the authors performed a multi-step analysis procedure centered on structural equation modeling to validate the model. Findings The authors demonstrate that the dimensions of serendipity, localness, communitas and personalization represent valuable additions to Pine and Gilmore’s original experience economy construct. Airbnb appears to outperform the hotel industry in the provision of all experience dimensions. The authors further define the pathways that underlie the creation of extraordinary, memorable experiences, which subsequently elicit favorable behavioral intentions. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The findings suggest the need for the hotel industry to adopt a content marketing paradigm that leverages various dimensions of the experience economy to provide customers with valuable and relevant experiences. The industry must also pay greater attention to its use of branding, signage and promotional messaging to encourage customers to interpret their experiences through the lens of these dimensions. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The study expands a seminal construct from the field of services marketing in the context of the accommodations industry. The Accommodations Experiencescape is offered as a tool for strategic experience design. The study also offers a model of experiential consumption that explains customers’ experiences with accommodations providers.