Couchsurfing: Performing the travel style through hospitality exchange

De Jung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Couchsurfing is a website to facilitate hospitality exchange between global travelers and local hosts. As Couchsurfing was initiated, it was just an alternative accommodation for budget travelers. However, now Couchsurfing has been recognized as a stylish way of travel, which brings new forms of tourist experiences and scenarios. In the light of the transformation of Couchsurfing, this study tries to explore how social-media technologies, hosts, surfers, and spaces are mobilized to perform Couchsurfing. Goffman’s performance theory as well as the extended concepts about online performance and tourist performance is adopted to analyze the Couchsurfing practice. By studying on couchsurfers’ online performance, offline performance, as well as certain “inappropriate actions” hidden in the backstage, this study displays the series of mechanism, which pushes Couchsurfing from simply a hospitality exchange network to a specific travel style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-122
Number of pages18
JournalTourist Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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