In the 2006 movie, The Holiday, Cameron Diaz’ character, Amanda, who lives in the US trades home with Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, who lives in the UK. Amanda searches the Net and whoala! finds Iris’ English cottage the one. She goes to the UK while Iris goes to vacation in Amanda’s gated contemporary abode.
Home exchange could work here, catering to both local and international travelers. Homeexchange.com has three listed houses from the Philippines, one in Manila and three in Aklan. On the side, the three houses are gorgeous. I think that the number could grow if vacationers-home owners here are given the right support, because although house swapping is done between individuals there is quite an intricate system built around it. The Guardian, which hosts a home exchange service, has a FAQ here. The Wall Street Journal ran an article about a couple’s experience.
Home exchange purportedly caters to travelers who don’t see themselves as tourists but as visitors who want to join up with locals and their culture and subsequently, as Amanda and Iris did, stand to discover that “a change of address can change their lives”. Not every traveler is sold to the idea of opening up one’s house for another’s use or embedding oneself into the local culture or willing to take certain risks but still how many are? No figures of them yet but this segment is a potential market. Travelers after all are not a homogenous lot.