Homestay is the origin of Sharing Economy

Mar 11, 2014, 07:17 ET from

SEOUL, South Korea, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Professor Lawrence Lessig at Harvard Law School first used the term 'sharing economy' in 2008, describing transactions for lending and borrowing rather than purchase and ownership. Ever since then, many lending and borrowing services have emerged for books, clothing, cars and even houses, and such trend has been geared by the technological advances in IT and SNS. A weekly magazine 'TIME' also selected the consumerism based on sharing economy as one of the 10 ideas to change the world. 


But is 'Sharing Economy' really a new concept? The term itself may be, but not the idea. The idea of sharing economy has long existed along with homestay. Homestay, as well known, refers to a type of accommodation services that provide guests with empty room and meals at home. Usually foreign students on study-abroad or exchange student program, language study, or long-term travel use this homestay service. Homestay is particularly useful for those who want to experience the nature of the visiting country and learn the respective language, as they stay at home living together with the host family. 

As the 'Sharing Economy' trend spread out, some websites focusing on homestay intermediation have emerged and now many homestay families and student guests are using those websites. 

Among them, is a platform that draws much attention. The website opened in mid-2012, and has been rapidly growing. Just less than two years from opening, has already attracted thousands of homestay families and hosts from 771 cities in 60 countries. It also has accommodated almost 6,000 students and guests as member. 

Students and guests would be introduced homestay families or hosts through school and/or language institutes. During the process, both homestay hosts and guests usually paid a large amount of commissions. It was also frequent that the hosts and the guests did not have enough information about each other before they actually met. has considered it crucial to improve member credibility and lower the level of commission. Upon such belief, has adopted 'Verified Host' system to enhance host reliability and has provided services for lowest level of commission within the industry. 

Market experts analyze that have been able to grow very fast because it has corrected pointed out the problems of offline homestay intermediation process and has put consistent efforts to solve them.

Furthermore, for every confirmed booking, provides one African child with a high-protein nutrition meal. Doesn't this story remind you of TOMS shoes, one for one? So far, has provided almost 1,800 African children with the nutrition meals. has successfully introduced online homestay intermediation, and its future seems to be worth watching and expecting. If you have an empty room at home, why don't you try to experience the sharing economic activity today? 

Media Contact: Bryan Lee, InnoPeople, 821090070315,

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