The impact of review sentiments on occupancy: Evidence for signalling theory from peer-to-peer accommodation

Sunil Sahadev*, Andreas Seiler, Phil Scarf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using data from 16,144 peer-to-peer properties in London, we study the impact of the two components of user-generated content – rating and sentiment – on occupancy rate. Our methodology is innovative because, firstly, we control for price variation when estimating these review-occupancy effects and secondly, we estimate interaction and curvilinear effects. We find that sentiment and rating have significant positive effects on occupancy rate; there is some evidence that sentiment and rating interact, one reinforcing the other; for a typical property among those analysed, an outstanding review increases occupancy by a fifth in relative terms. Thus, we interpret these associations as evidence that rating and sentiment signal value, and we estimate the strength of the signal in the peer-to-peer accommodation sector.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vacation Marketing
Early online date28 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sept 2023

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© The Author(s) 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
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  • Accommodation
  • occupancy rate
  • peer-to-peer
  • rating
  • sentiment
  • signalling theory


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