The Shareable Countryside: Rescaling Host-Guest Relationships In The Collaborative Economy

Szilvia Gyimóthy, Jane Widtfeldt Meged

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This paper aims at substantiating and problematizing communitarian business models in a rural tourism context. It is claimed that the collaborative economy yields resilient communities, revitalizes neighbourhoods and reconfigurates the beaten track (addressing the new tourist preferences for authentic local experiences and being citizen-consumers) (Stokes et al. 2014). However, there is a certain romanticisation about ‘village-building’ and unmediated encounters between locals and tourists, and the dispersion of sharing economy businesses is spatially uneven. The density of shared accommodation offerings is concentrated in major metropolitan areas or popular resorts, suggesting a potential consequence of aggravating rather than levelling out demographic, societal and economic inequalities (Dredge & Gyimóthy 2015). Policy makers and business protagonists discuss Shareable Cities (Rinne, 2013), exemplified through global concepts like AirBnB, Dinnersharing and Vayable, but there is not one single mention of the Shareable Countryside. In order to understand the mechanisms behind the spreading and uptake of the collaborative economy, this paper will map its driving and deterring forces in a Danish rural context. As such, we address the question: What are the preconditions, network effects and scaleability potential of global, market mediated collaborative business models for Danish rural communities? The empirical data collection is based on a qualitative, explorative case study of a Danish island destination. Local collaboration dynamics (preferences and practices) will be assessed through relational/evolutionary geography tools and social network analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventBeyond the Great Beauty: Regional Studies Association Research Network on Tourism and Regional Development Workshop - University of Bologna at Rimini, Rimini, Italy
Duration: 10 Feb 201612 Feb 2016
Conference number: 9


WorkshopBeyond the Great Beauty
LocationUniversity of Bologna at Rimini

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