Perceptions of Airbnb’s impact beyond the tourist bubbles of Cusco, Peru: an exploration of resident irritability

Mildred Arevalo, Jonathon Day, Sandra Sotomayor, Nancy Karen Guillen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Specifically, this study aims to examine residents’ perceptions regarding the following: the sociocultural, environmental and economic impacts generated by the presence of Airbnb and the irritability caused by the presence of Airbnb based on Doxey’s Doxey (1975) irritation index (i.e. index). Design/methodology/approach: Twenty-one semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted between February and March 2021 with residents of three condominiums in the Huancaro residential complex. Data were analyzed using the qualitative data analysis software ATLAS.ti 8. Findings: Results showed that participants perceived negative economic impacts regarding investments, jobs, real estate prices and overall cost of living; negative sociocultural impacts regarding criminality, social conflicts and cultural exchange; and negative environmental impacts regarding sanitation in the context of the pandemic and the state of the Airbnb apartments. Further, it was found that participants related to the following three of the four stages of irritability: euphoria, apathy and annoyance. Research limitations/implications: It is necessary to complement the information with the perceptions of the residents about the city’s authorities and managers in the hotel business before the stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current stage. Practical implications: The study identifies improve Airbnb operations like establishing health paraments and defining cohabitation rules at the condominiums. Social implications: The residents consider that visitors’ returns produce positive and negative impacts on the quality of life being important for understanding their perceptions. Originality/value: Short-term rental companies, such as Airbnb, generate a range of impacts on urban residents, particularly when travelers encroach on areas of the city beyond the traditional “tourist bubbles.” This study explored the perceptions of Airbnb’s impacts on activities among residents of Huancaro, a residential section of Cusco-Peru, in the context of tourism reopening after a year of an almost complete halt in tourism activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also highlighted the heterogenetic responses to Airbnb within the community.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2023


  • Airbnb
  • Cusco
  • Impacts
  • Irritability model
  • Perceptions
  • Residents
  • Short-term rental


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