Responsibility and Value Creation in the Sharing Economy 2020-2022

Project examines how social responsibility is reflected in the tourism business based on sharing economy in Lapland, and how business responsibility can be promoted.

Sharing economy business models have been rapidly growing. It has become a common practice for private persons to offer their homes, goods, and services by relying on digital platforms. The demand for tourism services has exceeded the offer of traditional suppliers in Lapland, which has contributed to creating a suitable business environment for sharing economy services. This development has led to questions about the responsibilities and social impacts of these new sharing economy organizations.

In the project “Responsibility and value creation in the sharing economy”, we study how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is reflected in sharing economy tourism business models in Lapland. The project consists of four working packages:

Social licence

What kind of sharing economy-based tourism is locally acceptable?

CSR in the sharing economy

How is CSR reflected in the practices of sharing economy companies?

Value creation in the sharing economy

How can the sharing economy help companies develop their value creation process?

Platforms as contract environment

What are the legal responsibilities of platform service providers?

The project follows a participatory action research methodology. The research results will be made available to consumers, entrepreneurs, and local authorities via information packages and infographics. In addition, the project will create a sharing economy-based responsible value-co-creation model.

Challenges and Possibilities in Peer-to-Peer Accommodation (2018-2020)

Sharing economy is a global and continuously growing trend. It is relatively new phenomenon, which enables different actors to meet and share underspent resources on digital platforms.

Online marketplaces such as Airbnb already have an impact on the traditional tourism and accommodation business. The objective of the project is to prepare for the changes in the operative environment of the tourism industry. The goal is to map and clarify recommendations and regulations of different authorities for peer-to-peer accommodation, to enhance and increase co-operation between traditional accommodation business and peer-to-peer accommodation and to contribute sustainable and responsible accommodation in Lapland from different stakeholder’s point of views.

The project aims to develop and support innovative and sustainable tourism and to contribute sustainable peer-to-peer accommodation in Lapland. This is done by pinpointing the challenges related to the phenomena, defining judicial position of different stakeholders, taking safety- and congeniality issues into account and by making use of innovation potential of operational models in peer-to-peer accommodation for traditional accommodation business. As a result of the project, both operative understanding and co-operation between traditional accommodation business and peer-to-peer accommodation will increase. Different travel businesses, authorities, organizations and educational institutions will benefit from the information and know-how gathered in this project.

Shareable Tourism (2016-2018)

Locality and the local ways of life are one of the most important attractions in tourism. The demand for experiencing the local way of life, local food and other seasonal products is increasing all the time. Ordinary matters for the inhabitants of Lapland, such as being and acting in nature and forest, winter cycling, picking berries and mushrooms and using them in the food making, taking a sauna or clean tap water can be real tourism experiences to the tourists from other parts of the world. However, the tourism product development of everyday life or everyday practices is not easy.

The sharing economy trend has spread fast and spreads still bringing new economy models and dimensions also to the tourism. Many forms of the sharing economy (for example Airbnb, Uber, couch surfing) are one possibility to respond to the tourists’ need to become acquainted with the Finnish way of life and with local culture. The sharing economy can offer companies possibilities to produce new, innovative and genuinely local and individual services but there are also many challenges to beat.

The objective of the project is firstly to identify and find out the present situation and future prospects of the sharing economy in general and the forms of the sharing economy in Lapland related to the tourism business. Second objective of the project is to find out the possibilities and challenges of using everyday life and everyday practices in tourism related sharing economy and to find possible solutions to product development.