An importance of trust in virtual systems of hospitality exchange according to Polish users of couchsurfing.org
The article presents the analysis of opinions of active tourists who are the members of a hospitality exchange network, as well as people who do not belong to it, on the subject of the importance of trust and its influence on the development of modern alternative tourism based on the idea of the couchsurfing in Poland. The following has been analyzed: 1. the level of trust of the couchsurfing.org website users (CU) in relation to other members of the community, 2. the causes of not using the possibilities of the couchsurfing.org website by active tourists who are not its users (NCU), 3. the relation between recommendation from people who are the members of the couchsurfing.org community and the possibility of activating people not interested in the website within the couchsurfing. The research has been conducted by a survey method. Analyzing the obtained data it has been stated that a typical CU in Poland (n=110) is a working man at the age of 24-29 with a higher education, inhabiting mainly big cities. It is a single person declaring a good material situation. He also knows one foreign language in a communicative level. CU indicate that difficulties in planning and accomplishing a longer trip as well as the lack of the sense of independence during a journey are the main drawbacks of trips organized via a hospitality exchange network. Whereas in the case of NCU she is a working woman (n=45) at the age of 30-39 having a higher education and being in an informal relationship. The respondents declare a good material situation and the knowledge of one foreign language. Not using the possibilities of the website by NCU is mainly connected with the lack of trust towards unknown people. At the same time, NCU are not interested in being active in the website, despite the recommendation given them by a familiar person who is a member of the couchsurfing.org community.
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