Thesis Defense Announcement

Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management announces the Final Thesis Defense of

Md Ashekur Rahman

for the Degree of Master of Science

May 23, 2019 at 09:00 AM Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management Room-140

Advisor: Radesh Palakurthi

Penalty-Reward Contrast Analysis of Airbnb's Properties in Tennessee; A Focus on Quality Ratings

ABSTRACT: Shared Economy (SE) is a growing concept in modern times, and it is having a radical impact on the hospitality industry especially the lodging industry. Within the shared economy sector, Airbnb is considered as the leading model for accommodations. Recently, Airbnb has expanded to 191 countries across the world and provides 300 million guests accommodations for its five million listed properties including apartments, private rooms, tree houses, entire homes, and even whole private islands. The primary purpose of this research is to perform an empirical analysis of the relative importance of the standard quality attributes used to evaluate service quality of Airbnb properties by their guests. This research paper uses Penalty-Reward Contrast Analysis (PRCA) to assess Airbnb's guest satisfaction levels by considering six quality attributes (accuracy, cleanliness, check-in, communication, location, and value). The research categorizes the quality attributes into the basic, performance and excitement factor using overall guest satisfaction ratings. By implementing the model, this research identifies which of the quality attributes is highly influential in the guests' decision-making for choosing an Airbnb property in Tennessee. The current research analyzed four years of data, May 2014 to May 2018, of online customer reviews of Airbnb properties in Tennessee. The total number of properties analyzed for this research are 31,725 that cover all Airbnb's properties in Tennessee. This research found that the overall ratings for Airbnb properties in Tennessee were very high ranging between 9.0 and 9.8 on a 10-point scale. The overall quality attribute scores differentiated by property type were also found to be very high. However, significant differences existed between the six quality attribute ratings by property type resulting in the quality factors showing a different status in terms of being a basic, performance or an excitement factor.