BeWelcome announces the launch of its newly redesigned platform - BeWelcome.org, with membership experience, global hospitality exchange and cultural appreciation in mind.
Bewelcome.org has no office, no staff, no big budget. According to Anja Kühner, volunteer spokesperson for BeVolunteer, the legal organisation behind BeWelcome: "Hospitality exchange should be free, and empowering to all that seek it. That is why we are non-profit and that is why we launched this redesign - to make it easier for both travellers and locals to sign up for free, create profiles, find each other and ultimately influence the perceptions we have about other people, cultures and countries through meaningful experiences.”
Central to the redesign according to Anja, is "the vision that travellers interested in a deeper understanding of other cultures, and hosts thinking about opening their door to the world, need access to a platform that appreciates transparency and democracy. The redesign was led by the involvement of the whole community through bottom-up decision making." Central to the redesign are features like a new search engine when looking for hosts and the means to search by map. Both features were requested by members. The platform now features a cleaner and more contemporary design with aesthetic enhancements to provide a more engaging member experience and enhanced navigation to help our members easily find the information they need.
According to Anja, "BeWelcome members open their door and hearts to other people and show them around one's home village, town or city are doing this without money being involved. They research the ethics, branding, history, ownership and business models of the platforms they intend to use and show a high interest in ethical travel and encounters." Anja argues that the promise of ethical encounter and appreciation of difference is best met by a non-profit, self-managed organization that can be trusted, noting that "everyone passionate about alternative travel, travel with a greater sense of purpose, cultural exchange, making new friends, and sharing enriching, immersive experiences with like-minded people in every corner of the world will feel right at home in a community without investors, stockholders or venture capitalists. Rather than make money out of personal generosity and anonymous algorithms, BeWelcome believes in the gift of hospitality."
BeWelcome invites existing members and visitors to explore the new platform at www.bewelcome.org
BeWelcome is operated by BeVolunteer, a non-profit voluntary association registered in Rennes, France. Launched in 2007, it is a non-commercial hospitality community and a social network. Its website is a platform for members to arrange homestays, offer true hospitality, meet other members, and join events. It is entirely run by volunteers. BeVolunteer has created a legal and organizational framework which ensures BeWelcome will always remain non-profit, open and free. The software of BeWelcome is open-source and the community highly values data security and privacy.
For more information, interview requests, and high resolution images, please contact, Anja at [email protected]