Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. Lauren Duffy, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Baldwin

Committee Member

Dr. William Terry

Abstract

The purpose of this research employing an emergent design is to explore the experiences of micro-hospitality entrepreneurs as hosts of Airbnb properties. Specifically, this study focuses on hosts in two communities- Port-au-Prince and Jacmel "“ and whether the phenomenon of homesharing through Airbnb is contributing to community development as other homestay programs traditionally attempt to do. As such this study asks the questions: RQ1: What is the experience of an Airbnb host in Haiti? RQ2: How do the experiences of Airbnb hosts differ between the locations of Jacmel and Port-au-Prince? RQ3: How does homesharing through Airbnb in Haiti contribute (if at all) to community development? To explore the host experience, in depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with hosts at their properties listed on Airbnb.com in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. The Community Capitals Framework was used to analyze the homesharing phenomenon by examining how community capital may increase (or decrease) as a result of participating as a micro-hospitality entrepreneur (i.e. Airbnb host). The data uncovered entrepreneurship capital (Audretsch & Keilbach, 2004), understood as the assets required to launch and sustain a successful enterprise, as an eighth capital to add to the community capitals framework. Based on the findings, local bridging ties can significantly increase entrepreneurship capital and maximize the positive community development outcomes associated with the phenomenon of Airbnb hosting in Haiti. Airbnb hosting can meet the need for additional accommodations in Haiti's countryside and with proper oversight be a tool for community development.

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