The formation and functioning of the Airbnb neo-tribe. Exploring peer-to-peer accommodation host groups
Tourism Management Perspectives
School of Business and Law
University of Queensland
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Some Airbnb host communities display the characteristics of neotribes. The neo-tribe literature offers rich insights into the life of a neo-tribe, but their formation and ongoing functioning remain under-researched. This paper investigates these issues using a netnographic approach that explored the formation and practices of a Tasmanian Airbnb Host Forum. The results reveal the reason for its formation and the functions of the neo-tribe, particularly as a support mechanism for hosts and defiance against perceived marginalisation by the tourism industry that has refused to embrace hosts; residents who viewed hosts as traitors; the government who regulates their entrepreneurial activities; and the media who vilified them. This study contributes to theory by developing knowledge on the stages of neotribal formation, and the influence that these stages have upon the ongoing function of the tribe.