To switch or not to switch: the role of tourists’ psychological engagement in the context of Airbnb Malaysia

Tiamiyu, Tosin and Quoquab, Farzana and Mohammad, Jihad (2020) To switch or not to switch: the role of tourists’ psychological engagement in the context of Airbnb Malaysia. International Journal of Tourism Cities, 6 (1). pp. 175-196. ISSN 2056-5607

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Purpose: The demand for Airbnb is at a peak in Malaysia with 137% of yearly growth. As such, it is indeed important to understand what makes tourists to switch to Airbnb. However, little has been known about this issue in the existing literature. Considering this, the present study aims to shed some light on the factors that drive tourists to switch to Airbnb. More specifically, the objectives of this study are to examine the direct effects of price unfairness and alternative attractiveness on psychological engagement, and to examine the direct effect as well as the mediating effect of psychological engagement towards tourists’ switching intention in the context of Malaysian Airbnb. Design/methodology/approach: By considering the attribution theory, this study developed and tested a framework to examine tourists’ switching intentions. A Web-based survey was designed to collect the data which yielded 162 complete and usable responses. Structural equation modelling, more particularly, partial least squares (SmartPLS, version 3) technique was used to analyze the data. Findings: The results revealed that price unfairness negatively affects psychological engagement, which in turn negatively affects tourists’ switching intention. However, no significant relationship was found between alternative attractiveness and psychological engagement. Additionally, psychological engagement mediated the relationship between “price unfairness and tourists’ switching intention”, but not between “alternative attractiveness and tourists’ switching intention.” Practical implications: It is expected that the findings of this study will enable the hoteliers to better understand the impact of perceived unfairness, alternative attractiveness and psychological engagement in provoking tourists to switch to Airbnb services. It eventually will assist them in improving their offerings and services accordingly. Originality/value: The discussion on Airbnb is quite new in the tourism literature. This study is among the pioneers to highlight the switching intention towards Airbnb in the Malaysian market. Guided by the attribution theory, this study developed and tested comparatively new linkages. More specifically, no prior study has considered psychological engagement as the antecedent of the switching intention which this study attempted to address. Additionally, this is a prior study that examines the mediating effect of psychological engagement between price unfairness, alternative attractiveness and switching intention.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Airbnb Malaysia, Malaysian tourism and hotel industry
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G154.9-155.8 Travel and state. Tourism
Divisions:International Business School
ID Code:93615
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:31 Dec 2021 16:44
Last Modified:31 Dec 2021 16:44

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