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Use of dynamic pricing strategies by Airbnb hosts

Chris Gibbs (Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Daniel Guttentag (Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Ulrike Gretzel (Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Lan Yao (Business School, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Jym Morton (Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 8 January 2018

6561

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive analysis of dynamic pricing by Airbnb hosts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses attribute and sales information from 39,837 Airbnb listings and hotel data from 1,025 hotels across five markets to test different hypotheses which explore the extent to which Airbnb hosts use dynamic pricing and how their pricing strategies compare to those of hotels.

Findings

Airbnb is a unique and complex platform in terms of dynamic pricing where hosts make limited use of dynamic pricing strategies, especially as compared to hotels. Notwithstanding their limited use, hosts who own listings in high-demand leisure markets, manage entire places, manage more listings and have more experience vary prices the most.

Practical implications

This study identified a great need for Airbnb to encourage dynamic pricing among its hosts, but also warned of the potential perils of dynamic pricing in the sharing economy context. The findings also demonstrated challenges for hotel managers interested in actionable information related to Airbnb as a competitor.

Originality/value

This is the first Airbnb study to use a comprehensive set of data over a continuous period in multiple markets to look at a number of listing and host factors and determine their relation with dynamic pricing strategies.

Keywords

Citation

Gibbs, C., Guttentag, D., Gretzel, U., Yao, L. and Morton, J. (2018), "Use of dynamic pricing strategies by Airbnb hosts", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 2-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2016-0540

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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