How do people assess a quality Airbnb?

The pandemic is subsiding in several countries and tourism is picking up. In the United States traffic in the air and on the roads is at or exceeds pre-pandemic levels. One of the options that millions of guests will have is to book a stay at an Airbnb (except in the Outer Banks which is all booked up!). My most recent research with Tarik Dogru, Michel Laroche, Makarand Mody, and Courtney Seuss studied how guests assess those extra fees they have to pay. When an Airbnb has an extra fee for professional cleaning or a security deposit, it actually signals to guests that the host values cleaning and is willing to charge extra for it. We all hate extra fees but if you had to assess two different Airbnb’s with everything is being equal (including price) which AIrbnb do you think is cleaner? The one that has an extra-cleaning fee or the one that doesn’t, which would you choose? Our findings revealed that consumers prefer the one that has the extra cleaning fee. In short, we hate the fee but it signals quality. Communication quality while evoking loss – final proof – Tourism Management

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