Online vacation rentalperspetivas dos turistas e proprietários no destino Algarve

  1. Joana Pereira de Carvalho Afonso Dias
Supervised by:
  1. Antónia Correia Director
  2. Francisco José Martínez López Director

Defence university: Universidad de Huelva

Year of defence: 2015

  1. Paula Luna Huertas Chair
  2. Antonio Padilla Meléndez Secretary
  3. Helena Reis Committee member

Type: Thesis


Consumers are ever more sophisticated in the way they engage with the media. This rapid pace of innovation shows no signs of slowing down, with new ways of communicating, sharing information and conducting transactions emerging. The Internet has changed the way tourism and information is distributed and how people plan to travel and consume (Buhalis & Law, 2008, Mack, Blose, & Pan, 2008; Mamaghani, 2009). Sites, blogs and social networks support consumers in publishing and sharing their trips with comments, opinions and personal experiences, which then act as information for others (Xiang & Gretzel, 2010; Gretzel, Yoo, & Purifoy, 2007; O'Connor, 2008). Online vacation rentals (renting private accommodation which is booked online) is a new long-tail market segment in the world of online travel (Anderson, 2007; Lew, 2008) and a new supply of resources for the travel market (Dias, Ribeiro & Correia, 2013; Dias Correia & López, 2014, 2015). Social exchange theory and social representations provide support for the understanding of this emerging phenomenon (OVR). Our research is of an exploratory nature, and we believe that in the future many other approaches will be added to consolidate and justify this new theme. The development of this market segment reveals a niche market in the field of online tourism. The aim is to understand how tourists and owners represent their sense of place when describing the Algarve, i.e. what is the sense of place that is present in their statements in the OVR context as they read and build their experience and relationship with the place they describe, via their testimonies, intentions, feelings and associations, among others. We want to understand how and why tourists decide on this type of accommodation; what the main motivations are that led the owners to purchase the property and to choose its location. By assessing the information on supply and demand throughout the research and analysing the meeting of interests and opportunities for cocreation between the different actors, relational approaches were thus developed in order to better understand the temporal and spatial dimensions of second homes (Hall, 2014), and particularly in this niche market of online vacation rentals. The methodology adopted aims to respond to our research and is globally based on two procedures: netnography and triangulation, combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, according to the type of data and following the nature of the research questions. The results obtained via the various techniques used allowed us to enlarge our knowledge about this rapidly growing phenomenon, characterize the potential market segments that arise from this, identify the main gaps in information that exist and understand what it is necessary to focus on in the future. Content analysis of the online testimonies and descriptions by players in the OVR process is complemented by the results of the Delphi survey which was applied to a list of experts related to the tourist destination of the Algarve in order to validate some of the results which had been previously collected and analysed. The results indicate that a network and sharing philosophy drives this process, with personalized interaction contributing to an effective relationship with the destination as well as with the interlocutors. Both derive benefits and different levels of attachment (tangible and intangible) from the identified location.