Leading Homestay Organizations Partner to Build a Wider Global Community

April 4, 2015

Homestay.com, a leading provider of homestay travel accommodation, and Friendship Force International, a venerable grassroots peacebuilding organization, are delighted to announce a bold and unprecedented partnership designed to transform the global travel and hospitality experience.

Both organizations specialize in homestays, connecting global travelers with local hosts for authentic, people-centric experiences abroad. Through their new partnership, they plan to extend these opportunities to more people in more cities and countries around the world, and will focus on expanding their footprint to help more people come together through hosting and traveling.

Travelers who seek cultural immersion, personal connections or "insider experiences" are drawn to the homestay concept, finding their travels enriched by the friendship and knowledge of a local host.

"Our organizations share similar values about why and how people travel, and the cultural understanding they hope to gain by building personal, authentic connections. A homestay is central to this experience," said Joy DiBenedetto, President and CEO of the Nobel Peace Prize nominated Friendship Force International.

Both organizations believe that this unique collaboration can bring more harmony and appreciation to current members and provide a special vehicle for inviting many other global citizens to participate.

The personal connections they facilitate through homestays have a lasting positive effect on both individuals and communities, and both organizations are eager to see these effects magnified.

"We are delighted to partner with Friendship Force International, an organization with a long and esteemed history in advancing culturally immersive, people-centric travel experiences that foster understanding and change the way we see the world," said Homestay.com CEO Alan Clarke.

Homestay.com is extending a warm welcome to the Friendship Force community to be hosted and to sign up as hosts on Homestay.com; and Friendship Force is offering members of Homestay.com the chance to participate in its legendary cultural exchange programs.

"People-to-people travel experiences can bridge cultures, generations, politics, and any other barrier that divides us. We believe that more global friendships can create more peace," said DiBenedetto. "Our work with Homestay.com can only foster more friendship in the world."

Both Homestay.com and Friendship Force International were founded on the idea that by putting your feet under someone's table, and by living like a local, you can truly see the world and its people in a new and more authentic way. This distinctive partnership will serve to expand the efforts of both organizations for the benefit of travelers worldwide.

"We look forward to working towards our shared goals together and welcoming members of Friendship Force International and Homestay.com into our collective communities," say Clarke and DiBenedetto.

About Homestay.com

Homestay.com offers authentic travel experiences, staying with locals in their homes, who ideally share similar interests with their guests. Its online booking platform for travel accommodation allows guests to book a room in a local person's home on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis where a host is present during the stay, enhancing the guest's travel experience through their hospitality and local knowledge.

About Friendship Force International

FFI conducts over 400 programs every year, in 390 communities in 70 countries. When you travel or host with the Friendship Force, you get to know real people by sharing real life. Since 1977 when founder Wayne Smith and US President Jimmy Carter introduced FFI at a White House gathering, 1 million people have participated in FFI's unique cultural exchange programs creating global cooperation and collaboration at the human level - beyond governments and borders - where people live, work, play and explore. FFI's efforts have been honored with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1992.

Media Enquiries

Claire Sweeney

Phone: +353 1 6755210

Email: claire.sweeney@homestay.com

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