Accessibility to hurricane shelters for Airbnb users in Miami metropolitan area

Authors: Sanghoon Kim*, University of Florida, Jinwon Kim, University of Florida, Eunjung Yang, University of Florida, Corene Matyas, University of Florida
Topics: Tourism Geography, Hazards and Vulnerability, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Hazards, Accessibility, Hurricane Shelters, Airbnb, Tourism, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other U.S. states, so the state is venerable to hurricane hazards. Although much research has been conducted to identify damage-prone regions and mitigate hurricane damage, the focus of this work has mainly been directed at residents and businesses, leaving tourists vulnerable.
Miami-metropolitan area (MMA) in Florida is a popular tropical tourism destination due to its proximity to the ocean, white beaches, and warm climate, attracting many tourists. Also sharing economy such as Airbnb is becoming more popular in lodging industry of MMA, so about 140,300 tourists stayed at an Airbnb rental in the City of Miami between 2016 and 2017.
This research aims to benefit the tourists who stay at Airbnb accommodations in MMA. Evacuation plans may not be well-established for Airbnb guests because there are no staff to guide them during hurricane hazards, and these tourists are likely unfamiliar with the area. To establish better evacuation plans and increase the safety of Airbnb guests, this research measures the level of accessibility to hurricane shelters from Airbnb properties in different hurricane scenarios by utilizing spatial statistical analysis within Geographic Information Systems.
The results show that the 4 and 15 out of 47 hurricane shelters are affected by storm surge flooding from forecasted category 4 and 5 hurricanes in southern MMA, resulting in low accessibility to hurricane shelters. Thus, it is recommended for Airbnb guests in southern MMA to leave early when storm surges are forecast and evacuation orders are issued.

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