This study aims to analyze the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the peer-to-peer (p2p) market for tourist accommodation.
Using monthly panel data from Airbnb listings in 22 cities worldwide, the authors run a differences-in-differences analysis comparing the period of February–October 2020 to the previous year.
Besides a decline in accommodation supply, the pandemic made prices and demand fall in all cities significantly, after controlling for room characteristics, host traits, booking policies and individual fixed effects. There is also evidence of an alteration of the influence on prices of certain variables such as superhost and instant booking.
The main limitations are related to the reference spatial and temporal environment. Besides, the samples are limited to listings that stayed before and after the pandemic; therefore, it is possible that the real effect on review growth and/or prices is actually more negative.
The analysis performed shows a scenario that represents an opportunity for public managers to test more imaginative regulations that overcome the limitations of those implemented so far. Likewise, hosts who aspire to make their accommodations profitable must adapt to the conditions imposed by the economic environment of the cities in which they operate.
This is the first study to econometrically estimate the impact of COVID-19 on prices in the p2p market for tourist accommodation in a set of cities worldwide.