The pursuit of uniqueness and craving for freedom: the meaning of luxury in the age of access

Özbölük T.

LEISURE STUDIES, vol.40, no.2, pp.227-242, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02614367.2020.1831045
  • Journal Name: LEISURE STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index, Political Science Complete, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, SportDiscus, Veterinary Science Database, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-242
  • Keywords: Immaterial luxury, access-based luxury, escapism, freedom, uniqueness, Airbnb Plus, CONSUMPTION, NETNOGRAPHY, FUTURE
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


Luxury has always been an essential topic in consumer research. However, changing nature and fluidity of its definition makes luxury still an interesting topic for researchers. Today, a combination of developing internet technologies and a shifting in the habit of travelling is leading to the rise of access-based accommodation services. Furthermore, modern travellers are searching for luxury experiences even with short term rentals. In this regard, understanding access-based luxury has become crucial in the accommodation sector, where consumer experience is the focus. Therefore, this paper investigates the nature of luxury within access-based consumption in the context of consumers' accommodation experiences. A qualitative approach is adopted to uncover the circumstances that constitute luxury for consumers who use Airbnb Plus. The study found that luxury manifests itself in search of uniqueness and freedom. Exploring that consumers are seeking more immaterial forms of luxury in their vacations, the paper makes a significant contribution to tourism literature.