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The Airbnb phenomenon: the resident’s perspective

Steven Richards (Department of People and Organisations, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)
Lorraine Brown (Department of People and Organisations, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)
Alessandra Dilettuso (Department of People and Organisations, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 28 October 2019

Issue publication date: 25 February 2020




Media and academic attention on Airbnb focuses on user experiences, implications for traditional accommodation establishments and negative sociocultural impacts. The purpose of this paper is to explore the views of Barcelona residents who have been impacted by the proliferation of Airbnb rentals.


A qualitative approach was adopted, involving semi-structured interviews with residents of Barcelona.


It highlights the problem of unregistered Airbnb rentals throughout the city, carrying implications for the gentrification of neighbourhoods, the displacement of local residents and anti-social guest behaviour. This study points to a consequent rise in anti-tourist feeling. It also reveals that the authentic experience promised by the sharing economy is illusory.


This paper presents a model that highlights a clash between the vaunted benefits of the sharing economy for hosts and tourists and the negative implications for a city’s residents.



In terms of contribution to the production of this paper, Steven Richards led the development of the introduction and literature review; Lorraine Brown wrote the methodology and most of the conclusion, and was responsible for the overall writing and flow of the paper; Alessandra Dilettso collected the data in Barcelona.


Richards, S., Brown, L. and Dilettuso, A. (2020), "The Airbnb phenomenon: the resident’s perspective", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 8-26.



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Copyright © 2019, International Tourism Studies Association.

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