When guests trust hosts for their words: Host description and trust in sharing economy

Iis P. Tussyadiah, Sangwon Park

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


In order to better understand the dynamics of user behavior in the sharing economy platform, a multi-stage study was conducted on how Airbnb hosts articulate themselves online and how consumers respond to different host self-presentation patterns. First, using text mining techniques on a large dataset consisting descriptions of Airbnb hosts in 14 major cities in the United States, two patterns of host self-presentation were identified. Hosts generally present themselves online as (1) a well-traveled individual, eager to meet new people or (2) an individual of a certain profession. This contributes to the conceptualization of profile as promise framework for online self-presentation in mixed-mode interactions involving peer-to-peer accommodation platform. Second, consumers respond to the two host self-presentation strategies differently, demonstrating higher levels of perceived trustworthiness in and intention to book from well-traveled hosts. This has direct strategic implications for effective self-marketing of “amateur” tourism players as well as for the role of residents as resources in tourism destinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Airbnb
  • Host self-presentation
  • Peer-to-peer accommodation
  • Self-marketing
  • Sharing economy
  • Trustworthiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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