As many travelers still feel the pinch of the recession on their wallets, a new market begs for attention as it couples the price tag of a hostel, convenience of a hotel and the homey feel of a bed and breakfast. This new way of travel accommodations is basically a social networking bed and breakfast and has expanded in the past years in Europe. Half a dozen startup companies have emerged in this market in the past two years including the likes of Crashpadder.com, iStopOver.com, ArBnB.com, and Roomorama.com. With this new market opening up, international businesses are looking to reap the rewards of this new type of traveler and hoping it will increase business abroad.
These websites offer accommodations relatively cheaper than hotels and add a better local experience to travel. How? Well, this new service works by hosts offering a room or entire home to guests who sign up to stay via online. The sites provide detailed descriptions of the rooms or private apartments available for rent along with ratings by previous customers. Many sites offer a personal profile so you can put a face to the name which makes the experience more enjoyable for both parties. These sites also offer protection and security to ward off possible scammers which is a big perk and a main advantage over the popular craigslist.com. With social networking playing a larger part in business now-a-days, the travel industry has begun to tap into this new market and will hopefully see the numbers of guests and hosts expand in the future. Could this be the next big step in travel trends?