Author: Koh, Boon Wee Edward
Title: The future of the home rental phenomenon in the Singapore context
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2018
Subject: Airbnb (Firm)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Lodging-houses -- Singapore
Vacation rentals -- Singapore
Shared housing -- Singapore
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: 202 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Powered by technology and characterized as exemplars of the sharing economy, Airbnb and other home rental businesses have often been referred to as disruptive innovators. Governments across the world continue to deliberate over policy issues and regulatory responses to home rentals, while the tourism industry at large remains uncertain about how to address the disruptive forces that have been unleashed by the home rentals sector. The limited research that has been conducted on Airbnb and on the wider home rental business has been primarily deductive, quantitative and US and Europe-focused leading to inconclusive findings. In light of the dearth of research on home rentals in Asia, the present study undertakes a qualitative investigation of the future of the home rental business in Singapore. A phenomenological paradigm has been adopted that focuses on the essence and meaning of experiences and investigates 18 consumers of Airbnb Singapore who are drawn from 6 of Singapore's major visitor source markets - China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. This was followed by the use of a constructivist paradigm to gather data from 14 industry practitioners representing Singapore's core tourism industries - hotels, attractions, MICE, travel agencies, cruise and integrated resorts. The method was deemed to be appropriate for the examination of business attitudes and the pragmatic considerations of industry practitioners. The ensuing insights were then extrapolated with a supply and demand forecast of hotel rooms in Singapore to 2020. In addressing the central research question, the researcher has adopted what is described as a Tourism Eco-system Framework as the frame of reference - "What is the future of the home rental phenomenon in the Singapore context?". The exponential growth of home rentals is used as an exemplar to illustrate how technology-assisted intermediaries are evolving and replacing established entities within the destination Supply Chain. To assess the future prospects for home rentals in Singapore, the researcher draws upon Pine and Gilmore's "Experience Economy" and Organisational Commitment Theory to propose a consumer motivation-needs-perception-incentives framework, and a home rentals SWOT analysis from the consumer perspective. These are then supplemented by a home rentals SWOT analysis from the wider industry perspective, a forecast of accommodation supply and demand in Singapore by 2020, and the study of impact of home rentals on the 4 focal areas of UNWTO's sustainable development efforts. The collective findings suggest a positive future for the home rental business in Singapore. Three alternative regulatory scenarios are proposed drawing upon the Tourism Eco-system framework - expansionary, protectionist and measured, and reflecting alternative regulatory stance. Four categories of issues were identified in the event that home rental regulations were liberalised, and 10 solution are proposed. Finally, the researcher proposes that regulators should consider adopting the Accommodation Price and Capacity Matrix (APCM). This model presents prospective "blue ocean" spaces where a more liberal regulatory stance may be adopted towards home rentals.
Access: restricted access

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