Homeowners rent rooms to travellers

Travellers seeking and offering short term accommodation
can come together in one place at RoomFT ( Room for Travellers -
www.roomft.com).


The first website of its kind, RoomFT is encouraging hosts from all over the world
to sign up to the scheme. Homeowners can boost their income by renting out their
spare room, flat, house or couch to tourists for any period from one night to
several weeks. Meanwhile, gap year students and travellers can gain comfortable
accommodation world-wide that’s easy to obtain and cheaper than a hotel.

Daniel Baum, marketing director at RoomFT, says: “Over 15 million people in Britain
currently own homes with at least one spare bedroom*. While homeowners claim to buy
a property bigger then their needs because they wish to have friends or relatives
stay, on average British people only have guests six times a year**. So, this leaves
a lot of spare accommodation that could be put to good use and earn the homeowner
additional income without doing any hard work. With up to £4,250 a year tax free,
this opportunity is too good to miss.”

Within a couple of weeks of going live, RoomFT has already attracted hosts and
travellers from over 30 countries, including: UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New
Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, China, Costa Rica,
Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Panama,
Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Serbia, Sweden, Thailand and Turkey.

Designed as part resource, part online community, Roomft.com features: a global
hosts and travellers search with Google mapping and amenities; profile pages for
hosts and travellers with their own personal URL; ratings and guestbook features; a
calendar showing room availability and travellers’ room requests; a verification
option for hosts and travellers; a web mail system; a room valuation tool; and a
traveller’s diary and agenda. Thanks to the site, travellers can post a room request
anywhere in the world and hosts can reply with details of their accommodation.

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Daniel Baum adds: “With the recent increase in mortgage arrears and repossessions,
it is timely for homeowners to join RoomFT. The ability to rent out a room for a
short period of even just one night is much more flexible than taking on a lodger
for six months to a year.

“The lack of hotels during the recent England and South Africa rugby match in Paris
revealed how easily accommodation fills up during major events. The same problem
will certainly arise in London during the 2012 Olympics. It makes sense for private
individuals to benefit by offering whatever space they have to spare.”
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