The future of Airbnb in China: industry perspective from hospitality leaders

Dujun Qin, Pearl M.C. Lin, Sandra Yanping Feng, Kang Lin Peng, Daisy Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the development of Airbnb in China from the perspective of hospitality leaders by identifying the positive and negative effects of Airbnb development in the country. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative approach was adopted to explore the current development of sharing accommodation service in China. Focus group discussions were conducted with the managers and top executives of hotels in China. Findings: Most of the participants affirmed that the experience of local culture and authenticity are the advantages of staying in this type of informal accommodation. From the viewpoint of hoteliers, traditional accommodation is necessary to rethink their strategies by providing authentic experiences. By contrast, Airbnb service may not seamlessly fit into Chinese culture. The result also indicated that there is a need for government to regulate the informal accommodation platforms. Practical implications: This study provides views towards Airbnb from the traditional accommodation sector in Mainland China, which can contribute to the future regulation of informal accommodation services. Originality/value: Chinese market is the leading sector in tourism industry. With the popularity of Airbnb development around the world, Airbnb is still in a developing stage in Mainland China. This study is based on 45 hoteliers and industry professionals in China, who share their views on Airbnb development and how it should move forward. The findings of this study shed light on the informal accommodation service and its future directions in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-624
Number of pages16
JournalTourism Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2020


  • Airbnb
  • Authentic experience
  • Chinese market
  • Hotelier
  • Informal accommodation
  • Sharing economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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