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New feature for tourist accommodation - unconditional paid engagement

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-walking-along-green-grass-field-1038258/

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Nov 22, 2022
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The idea came from my traveling experience where I've met a lot of people working in hostels and having free accommodation in return. With this idea, I would like to offer another feature to already-existing accommodation listings on Booking, Airbnb, and similar pages to stand out from others and become creative in their touristic offers. They could offer people engagement in physical labor, seasonal work, or similar PAID activities.
Why?
  • enriching the tourist offer with new culture-related contents
  • enabling the accommodations to stand out from others of the same kind - new feature
  • making the weekend getaways or holidays more interesting for the visitors
  • learning about agriculture and the local culture
  • employing new skills in children and adults
  • paying less for the accommodation as a result
How would it work?
You decide to go on a family weekend to a village house close to your home. It's 100€ a night, but there is a mark and a list of "deduction labours" and their prices pre hour that you can do. Your wife, kids and you decide you want to learn help several hours a day. At the end of the weekend, instead of paying 200€ in total, you choose to pick up grapes, and vegetables, plant new plants and clean the stable. Your total rent price after labour deductions is 86€. You leave the village happy that you learned something new, had fun and paid less than expected. It's a win-win situation! If there is no current labour to be done one the site, the "deduction labour" mark is not present next to the property listing.
What other jobs could you do?
Although I am focused on agriculture and agritourism, the same principle could be applied to any touristic place where you could clean, dig, cut, paint, renovate, build, plant or do something.
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Creative contributions

Teach or help someone practice their skills in exchange for free/discounted accommodation

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Michaela D
Michaela D Nov 23, 2022
Similar to skill exchange ideas, only that you exchange skills for accommodation. What can these skills be? Anything. Play the guitar, dance tango, cook recipes from another country, or practice Python. There is already a service talktalkbnb, where you can stay somewhere for free in exchange for language practice. It is a pretty awesome idea.
This can be applied to a different set of skills. The hosts can mention what types of skills they are interested in practicing and how much discount they would offer in exchange.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola15 days ago
Very cool! One small downside is that it would work perfectly only if you go on a vacation alone. If you go on a weekend getaway, it is usually a family, friends or romantic trip of two, where collective activities (picking up fruits, planting the plants, etc) are much more entertaining. But there are surely some non-agricultural skills which can be thought this way :)
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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain17 days ago
These kinds of farm stays and homestays are already in operation in my home country, Nepal. People both from within the country and from abroad come to visit these farms in the mountains and they engage in various agricultural and ecological practices. Though they don't 'pay' with their physical labour, they engage in homesteading, cultivation, harvesting and many related agricultural practices. For example, https://www.organichasera.org/ is where you can stay in the farm and learn their 'permaculture design course'.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola17 days ago
Subash Chapagain Very cool! Okay, I think I need to redefine my idea to make it more specific and unique, or at least to highlight its unique value. It seems that these farms (like the one you linked) are primarily intended to be training locations where people learn about Permaculture and similar phenomena. They also seem to offer a "farmstay / homestay and learning program, community seed bank and nursery, farm designing, thesis research support for students, organic certification services, eco-pad production at Dhartimata Sustainable Workshop, and many more". It's definitely a center not intended to be rented in any scenario. I'll try to use this to explain my idea better. Thanks!
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Povilas S
Povilas S17 days ago
Your idea is very similar to Workaway, where travelers "pay" for accommodation and sometimes also food by volunteering (working for the accommodation owners be it private landlords or businesses like hostels and similar). The only difference I see is the reduction in price for accomodation. With Workaway you either work and stay for free or don't stay at all. I mean if it's a hostel you can of course stay as a guest for full price, but I haven't heard of price reductions when doing less job than you are expected to by the owners. In rare cases, the owners even offer additional payment for the job done, so it's kind of a vice-versa situation to what you propose.
So the price reduction feature could be a novel improvement for platforms like Workaway and similar (I know there are more, just Workaway is, perhaps, the most popular ). Or, if you have in mind only the properties that rent accommodations in the first place, then this could, perhaps, be developed into a novel platform or a novel feature for short-term rent platforms like Booking and Airbnb.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola17 days ago
Povilas S Yes, it's similar to the page you linked in the concept. I think the biggest difference is the starting point. While Workaway and similar pages are made to offer travelers rent-free accommodation (tell me if I am wrong), the feature I had in mind was intended to be sort of an additional culture-enriching and fun feature for a regular touristic offer available via Booking or Airbnb listings. It could be the additional filter on the platforms I mentioned, possibly a deal breaker for people looking for an active vacation. As you correctly highlighted, the results would be, besides having a fun and entertaining vacation, price deductions.
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Povilas S
Povilas S16 days ago
J. Nikola The cultural exchange and fun feature is kind of the basis for platforms like Workaway. The free accommodation is only a "side effect" (or at least it's supposed to be this way so that people wouldn't just look for free accommodation but more of an exchange experience there).
It's like Couchsurfing, except that you also give something in return by volunteering, Couchsurfing is totally free. But with Workaway you can also expect to stay much longer and usually the hosts search for people who can stay longer. If Couchsurfing hosts usually have maximal stay limits, Workaway hosts usually have minimal stay limits:)
That's why I say that maybe your idea would be more suitable as an additional feature for booking-type platforms due to the novel price reduction feature.
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