“Couchsurfing has made me a better person and the world a better place”: the transformative power of collaborative tourism experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Presented as an alternative form of tourism, Couchsurfing is a predominantly non-commercial accommodation type where hosts offer a “couch” to travelers through a hospitality network. Couchsurfing.com is considered as an icon of the sharing economy and more specifically of shareable tourism. This article provides a deeper understanding of couchsurfers’ motivations and shared values. Through an empirical qualitative study, we discuss the transformative power of Couchsurfing experiences, the underlying transformational processes, conditions, and socio-psychological and behavioral consequences. We also discuss the findings’ implications for society, businesses, and tourism in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of travel and tourism marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018



  • collaborative consumption
  • Couchsurfing
  • hospitality
  • Tourism
  • transformative tourism

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