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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

“Your value at my cost” Balancing value in the Sharing economy: lessons from Barcelona

Published: May 28, 2019


Luisa Andreu, University of Valencia; Dimitrios Buhalis, Bournemouth University; Juergen Gnoth, University of Otago


value co-creation; tourism destinations; sharing economy


Sharing economy brings disruptions in the marketplace and has a range of socioeconomic implications. The rise of AirBnb introduces advantages and disadvantages for tourism destinations in the sharing economy. Some stakeholders gain more value, whilst others suffer as a result. This case study addresses the dearth of research into value co-creation and co-destruction in the complex ecosystem (tourists, hosts, commercial providers, city planners, etc.) of tourism destination service networks. The city Council of Barcelona, Spain, experience ‘overtourism’, that is, a breach of its social and physical carrying capacity. ‘Overtourism’ disrupts tourism ecosystems and is fuelled by the booming sharing economy. Barcelona identified AirBnb and the flats promoted on the platform as a key contributor and seeks legislation, management and control to address the challenges. The paper addresses interests between users and explores the measures Barcelona has taken to address the balance of value between stakeholders. Future research needs are identified, including detailed inquiries into the value-expectations held by network-actors and wider stakeholder groups.