Worldwide, a variety of on-line platforms have been developed to facilitate the hosting of persons.
Picture by Liz West
You want to travel but have no means to pay for a hostel?; you want to meet local people while travelling and/or avoid "tourist-traps"?; you have been expelled from your house and have nowhere to stay? To address these different scenarios, on-line platforms have been developed to facilitate the contact between a host and a hosted person. We can distinguish mainly two types of hosting, with the border between both types often blurred as a platform can in itself enter into both categories.
1.) Platforms for backpackers and travellers: these platforms have been developed all around the world. They enable a traveller to stay for free at a local. The trust between a host or a hosted person are mainly based on reputation, through a system of reference where every user has an on-line profile on which other participants of the platform may leave comments or references (positive or negative) concerning that person. Some examples are:
- Couchsurfing: https://www.couchsurfing.org
- Hospitality Club: www.hospitalityclub.org
- BeWelcome: http://www.bewelcome.org/
2.) Platforms for emergency situations, to host people who are homeless or who have been evicted, aim to fight poverty and precariousness by offering short-term accommodation for people or families in need. Some examples are: