Article in Journal of Travel Research Article, November 12, 2019
Authors: Sangwon Park1, Iis P. Tussyadiah2
1. School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, TST East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom

As peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodation service often involves multistage interactions between hosts and guests in online and offline settings, trust between the parties involved is of the utmost importance. In particular, the possibility of interacting offline in P2P service delivery highlights the significance of interpersonal trust between hosts and guests. Accordingly, this study examines the formation of trusting beliefs in hosts, comprising prospective guests’ perception of the ability, benevolence, and integrity of the hosts. This study estimated the effects of two antecedents—propensity to trust and trust in P2P platform—on trusting beliefs, as well as the consequence of trusting beliefs, that is, behavioral intention to book from the host. Important implications for trust formation in a P2P accommodation marketplace are provided.

Keywords sharing economy, peer-to-peer accommodation, interpersonal trust, trusting beliefs

Summary of findings: Perceptions of ability, benevolence, and integrity are all of equal importance for P2P accommodation guests. In describing themselves online, hosts should not only portray their capability for hosting but also appear helpful in terms of providing recommendations about the destination. Hosts should include references of past efforts of making guests feel at home and of their willingness to respond quickly to their questions. Evidence of hosts’ honesty and sincerity should be included in host profiles. Regular updates of host profiles, facilities and room availability are also important in increasing trust.

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