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.
- collaborative consumption
- transformative tourism