India has its own guesthouse/BnB portal in the form of Roomwaale.com. The website provides accommodation options with local people in major travel destinations in India, While the concept is definitely more common abroad, it is still developing in India. Roomwaale seeks to not only make travelling easier on the pocket, but also provide a cultural experience to travelers.
Their service brings property owners and travelers together under one roof and serves as a marketplace for guesthouses and BnBs (Bed and Breakfast). Property owners can showcase their properties for free to business and casual travelers, and travelers can choose from a variety of options to suit their needs. The service has been started by graduates from IIM Calcutta and Oxford University. Apart from management and technical skills, it has considerable experience in the hospitality sector, especially guesthouse and Bnb sector.
The features of Roomwaale are similar to Airbnb, a similar start-up from Silicon Valley. Roomwaale however, has a long way to go in terms of the number of destinations offered, since it covers only about 13 cities in India, mostly hill stations, while Airbnb offers stay options in 19,732 in 192 countries of the world. Roomwaale is still a fresh start-up and is set to expand to 50 other cities in India. However, AirBNB also has India listed as one of the active rooms renting places so it will be interesting to see how AirBNB responds to RoomWaale's offerings and active business strategies.
The user interface of Roomwaale.com is very easy to use, and payments can be made by credit cards, debit cards and netbanking. Offline payments can be made via transfer into their bank account of cheque as well. Overall, although the user experience may not be as diverse as one offered on Airbnb, its inventory is pretty satisfactory and the options available can suit different needs, depending on the nature of the traveler’s trip.
Another feature available is of reviewing your stay once it is over. Both guest and host can provide reviews which are used to assist future travelers. When it comes to customer satisfaction, Roomwaale assures that if the guest is not satisfied with the stay option, refunds would be made promptly. Hence, overall, for a new start-up, every aspect of a memorable stay is taken care of my Roomwaale.
Since Roomwaale is available in the most popular business and holiday destinations of India, more and more people are being attracted to this kind of service since it saves money and also offers a unique experience which cannot be compared with a hotel. A promising start to this concept in India with Roomwaale.com.