Substitution threat between Airbnb and hotels: Myth or reality?

Ruggero Sainaghi, Rodolfo Baggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The rise of peer-to-peer accommodation platforms in the tourism and hospitality industry has created an interesting and growing debate around the threats of substitution between them and traditional hotels. Previous studies have provided contradictory findings. Here we address the issue by analyzing the degree of synchronization between the daily occupancy of hotels and that of Airbnb listings in Milan, Italy, over a period of four years. The findings show that the two series are widely desynchronized during the week, on workdays and trade-fair days, when hotels work prevalently within the business segment, and when Airbnb listings mainly accommodate leisure guests. By contrast, a partial synchronization (and therefore a potential substitution threat) is revealed during weekends and holidays.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102959
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Airbnb
  • Mutual information
  • Peer-to-peer accommodation platforms
  • Substitution threats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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