When Harry met Sally: Different approaches towards Uber and AirBnB - An Australian and Singapore perspective.

Information Technology & Tourism, Volume 16, pages 393–412


Aaron Tham


The sharing economy has transformed the tourism landscape, though different destinations have featured various levels of receptivity. Two of the main organisations, or disruptors, are AirBnB and Uber. These two organisations were examined and compared in terms of how they have featured within two countries, Australia and Singapore. Using a case study approach, online contents concerning AirBnB and Uber were analysed to elucidate tourism responses in the respective countries. Drawing from the theoretical frameworks of disruptive innovation and smart tourism ecosystems, this research amplified that governance structures influenced how these two organisations carried out their operations. For instance, AirBnB received for more access in Australia than Singapore. In contrast, Singapore was more receptive to Uber and other ridesharing organisations than in the case of Australia. Incidentally, tourism responses have been almost non-existent within the two countries. In order to steer strategy and governance concerning the sharing economy, there is an urgent need to re-align existing legislation and business models in order to realise the true potential of smart tourism ecosystems.