1.Positive and negative aspects of CC in tourism
The spread of CC practices in the tourism industry presents both positive and negative aspects, especially regarding the accommodation sector.
2.Advantages of choosing CC instead of traditional tourism actors
With the shift in tourist demand and desires, CC platforms appear as the ideal choice for those travelers in search of something different as they provide guests with personalized and authentic experiences, helping them to discover local culture, interact with the local community and live like a local rather than like a tourist.
In the accommodation industry more specifically, sharing platforms, such as Airbnb, offer a better variety of types of accommodation (from treehouses to vintage caravans) and give opportunities to live outside of high-traffic tourist areas, thereby meeting postmodern demands.
The same element can be exemplified with carsharing. While traditional car renting companies offer a limited choice of car models, at higher prices and often only close from airports or train stations, carsharing companies allows individuals to affordably access a great variety of car models, including luxury ones, from multiple locations throughout cities where it operates, demonstrating then greater convenience for consumers.
3.Reaction of incumbents towards the growth of CC
The assets and the growing attractivity of CC lead incumbents to feel threatened. As a reaction, they often intend to bring to light limits of CC in the tourism industry and ask governments and municipalities to level the playing field.
The main critics concern the lack of regulations to CC companies which lead to an unfair price competition with the traditional players in the tourism industry. While hoteliers have to deal with environmental protection, labour law, consumer protections, safety and health regulations, and multiple taxes, short-term rental services on sharing platforms are not compelled to abide to most of these rules. The same is true for other sectors of the tourism industry, for instance taxi drivers who need to pay a licence while uber drivers do not need to make this investment even if they do the same job ; restaurants which feel threatened by “private kitchen” offerings which are not operating under strict health regulations ; or tour operators who are also heavily regulated in terms of health, safety and consumer protection while CC companies have no regulation.
At the same time, the lack of regulation regarding CC activities also leads a certain proportion of consumers to rely on traditional tourism actors. Indeed, they offer guarantees with respect to quality, health and safety standards of the services since they comply to strict regulations and are professional service providers.