Travel Like a Local

Wimdu: Travel Like A Local

A global Internet company which offers an extensive selection of accommodation places located all over the world to travelers, either on business or pleasure trip, has now established a presence in the Philippines.

Wimdu, which has been launched in 65 countries, has an online listing of accommodation places or “hosts” in the Philippines available to a foreign business traveler or a vacationing tourist. Its online list is still open to would-be host.

At the same time, the company’s website could be accessed by Filipino travelers seeking places to stay abroad other than the usual or big hotels in cities. The company offers unique places like homes of local residents or a room in a luxurious villa to travelers wanting to experience other cultures and cities in a whole new way.

The business model of Wimdu, which is backed by Rocket Internet GmbH of Germany, one of the world’s largest Internet start-up incubators, is to match travelers with accommodation places other than the standard or big hotels and which offer rates ranging from the affordable to the pricey.

Thus, a traveler, a group of students or a vacationing family can choose either an apartment in Hong Kong, a castle in Germany, a loft in Seoul or a villa in Phuket as well as from other collection of accommodation units that suit their needs and budget.

Besides the wide and unique range of places to choose from and check in, Wimdu-listed properties, including those in the Philippines, could be as much as 50 percent cheaper than the daily rates of standard hotels.

Wimdu also lists high class dwellings but still travelers can make substantial savings compared to hotels because of the discounts obtained by the company through its long term bookings with property owners.

Besides the travel market, Wimdu deals with accommodation companies or property owners who are brought into its global network of listed spaces for short or long term lease.

The company seeks owners of condominiums, residences, inns, condotels, small standard hotels (less than 20 rooms), pension houses or even dormitories to join its global network by registering their spaces in its website and become future hosts to these travelers. Being on Wimdu’s online list is free of charge.

These property owners earn from rentals or leases and their properties or units are easily accessed by the growing global community of travelers who book through Wimdu’s Internet site.

Wimdu said that listed places are visited by their local staff to check on the amenities as well as to ensure that the unit or surroundings are safe for travelers.

The Wimdu concept is to cater to guests wanting something unique – a home away from home, a cultural experience, a real plunge into the host’s country.

“He is not happy staying in large hotels where he is detached from the locals. Yet, our guest also wants the ease of booking a large hotel can offer. Wimdu then becomes the avenue to fulfil this desire. With just a few clicks, a cozy place can be found, booked, and the host notified for confirmation,” Wimdu said.

Wimdu is the latest major venture of Rocket Internet, which follows in the footsteps of Groupon International (deals, discounts and coupons), Zalando (Europe’s largest online shoe retailer), and eBay Europe (buy and sell).

It was founded by German brothers Marc and Oliver Samwer, whose goal is for Wimdu to be in every country.