Catching a ride in the peer-to-peer economy: Tourists’ acceptance and use of ridesharing services before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Business Research, Volume 151, 2022, 504-518


Karen Pei-Sze Tan, Yang Yang, Xiang (Robert) Li


Building on the self-determination theory and technology acceptance model, this study considers tourists’ adoption decisions around ridesharing and taxi services and examines whether actual rideshare use on-site affects visitors’ trip-level (i.e., trip satisfaction and trip value) and destination-level (i.e., locals’ perceived friendliness) evaluations. Econometric analysis is used to empirically evaluate actual behavioral data of domestic tourists collected from a U.S.-wide household tourism survey with 11,282 valid respondents in 2016 and 6,955 in 2020. Results indicate that while consumption competency, peer-to-peer consumption spillover, and taxi service availability significantly influenced tourists’ use of ridesharing services, safety reputation and destination familiarity are not significant determinants. Over time, cost saving is no longer significant in explaining the ridesharing demand, and during the pandemic, local pandemic severity shaped tourists’ use of ridesharing. Notably, tourists’ rideshare use significantly affected their trip- or destination-level assessments in 2020 but not in 2016. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.