The second international Barter Week saw over 600 hotels and self-catering businesses around the world sign up for the event that will occur Nov. 18 to 24. The initiative encourages accommodation owners to provide free stays to guests who share their goods or skills.

Hosts register their wish in exchange for an array of things such as decorating skills, carpentry works, website expertise, social media marketing, etc., enticing prospective guests to make offers.

One potential exchange is a Bulgarian eco-retreat, where a person with woodworking skills is sought in the hopes of creating a reiki room in the garden. A company in Sri Lanka is looking for a person who can do search engine optimization, and a guesthouse in Torquay needs a decorator and painter.

Skills are not the only currency in this bartering act. A Turin B&B is searching for children’s books that are still in good condition. A Moscow hotel is looking for board games while a Mongolian Ger house is in need of a used computer.

The initiative, which began in 2018, is a continuation of the Italian Barter Week – a program that began more than 10 years ago when the bed-and-breakfast.it website found that a Sardinia member was bartering with its guests.

Clara Corallo, a marketing manager, said it’s an odd way to do business, but its properties were asked to experiment with the idea one week every year in the low season. There are about 900 properties listed for the Italian Barter Week.

According to Corallo, the next step is to create a permanent bartering site for owners can use throughout the year rather than just a specific week. It’s anticipated to be ready sometime 2020.

Barter Week is one of a few initiatives that offer skill exchange for free stays. Workaway is another initiative that has 30,000 hosts around the world that offer both food and housing for several hours of work a day. Individual lodges and hostels throughout the world provide free stays on a when needed basis in exchange for someone’s skills.

 

Written by contributor Susan Powell.  Source:  Irish Times