Tom Kennedy, ex-hostelworld.com launches new company, Homestay.com
Homestay.com is a new global travel website that soft launched in July of this year. Homestay.com offers online bookings for homestay accommodation worldwide.
Homestay.com was founded in Dublin, Ireland, by Hostelworld.com co-founder Tom Kennedy and Debbie Flynn, Director and Founder of Irish Education Partners.
Homestay.com is a venture capital funded start up. The company currently employs 20 people in Dublin.
Homestay.com chairman is Paddy Holahan, the founder and CEO of Newbay. CEO is Alan Clarke, previously of PaddyPower.com.
Only having launched in beta form in July 2013 already Homestay.com has signed up over 15,000 homestay hosts and has already processed more than 50,000 bed nights. The business is showing early signs of rapid growth with triple digit month on month growth.
Though still early in its development Homestay.com currently have hosts live in over 30 countries with hosts in another 40 countries beginning their journey of joining a global community of homestay networks. The business is already generating global traffic supporting guest travel from more than 30 nations to engage in a homestay experience.
The Homestay.com site is currently available in English and Spanish and plans for further internationalisation are underway.
Tom Kennedy started in the travel sector as the owner of the Dublin hostel Avalon House, before joining forces with technology entrepreneur Ray Nolan to form hostelworld.com in 1999. Tom and Ray sold hostelworld.com in 2009 to a private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.
Debbie Flynn is a veteran of the homestay industry with a background of more than 30+ years’ experience. Debbie is founder and director of Irish Education Partners, and a hostel owner in Dublin.
Commenting today Tom Kennedy said "Having seen how technology revolutionised the hostel industry on a global basis, I am excited to be able to bring the same innovation to the global homestay industry".
Debbie Flynn also commented saying, "30 years in the homestay industry has shown me how rewarding the long lasting friendships which emerge from a homestay experience can be. Homestays are unique in providing an opportunity for people to embed themselves in a truly cultural host experience, we look forward to opening this experience to a global audience".
The Homestay.com experience is different to other accommodation offerings in the market in that the guest stays in a homestay, not in an empty hotel room or apartment. The guest stays with locals, often with shared interests, making their travel experience authentic in every way. The ambition of the Homestay.com team is to create a local travel experience for all forms of travellers (students, professionals and families).
The homestay travel experience brings a strongly personal element to the travellers experience, and the feedback from hosts on the site brings this to life - "I love the Homestay.com experience... I have met 14 wonderful people through a Homestay experience that will always be a part of my life…at least forever in our memories and hearts".
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