Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Updates Up and Live!!

Chuck the golfer swings away at Sun Rivers, Ka...Image via Wikipedia
We're finally done with the new update:-

Firstly, I wanted to share a bit about the philosophy behind this new update. We have increasingly seen that a modern lifestyle means people are working very hard and then need to take a break from work to re-energize themselves. This is common for the class of traveler that we all want to attend - people who have high profile jobs and have the accompanying stress. I have been speaking to such people for their own feedback on HomeStaysDOS.com and to understand what would motivate them to take a longer holiday or sabbatical as some may call it. One thing that struck me with these people as a common thread, was that they were all very keen to use their holiday or time-off productively, to pursue interests which they did not get much time for, during their hectic career. The things that I got as part of my feedback were varied - one person said that he wanted to take some leave and club it with Christmas so he could spend 15 days writing his long due PhD thesis! Another person said that he was keen to do an intensive workshop and learn how to paint better. A third was keen to learn how to golf in a focussed manner and come back from his vacation able to play a reasonably good game so that he could socialize with his bosses.

On hearing this, I felt that all of these and more are possible in India but it is difficult for a tourist to know where to seek these activities which is important to him before he decides to book his ticket to India.

So here is what is new on HomeStaysDOS.com - While earlier travelers could find homestays by browsing through States and cities i.e. they could find homestays in Goa or in Cochin, now with this new initiative, they can search for a holiday where they can go golfing or scuba diving or play tennis or learn how to paint.

We do this by creating a new type of user on HomeStaysDOS.com called the EXPERT. The Experts are people who specialize in particular areas and conduct courses in the same. Experts and we as OWNERS will have a win-win relationship with each other. Some of us as owners may also be EXPERTS, but more commonly Experts when they register, will be asked to recommend homestays where their Students can stay when they come to do their courses. We as HomeStay owners, will also be able to recommend Experts and their courses. By doing so, when travelers come to our page they will be able to see that such activities are offered if they stay at our Homes, and their vacation can be a more richer experience.

So, what needs to be done?

1. Each of you need to login into your HomeStaysDOS.com account and click on the link to edit your property in your dashboard. You may remember we have earlier had a box where you were asked for activities around your property. Above this box (which will contain what you filled up earlier), you will see a number of check boxes where you can tick the activities that are offered around your property. Please check whichever one you feel are offered and delete the same from the below box and say save. On the next screen you will be given a list of EXPERTS (if any) around your property who conduct those activities you have selected. You can either select from this list or else give us numbers and email addresses of people you know in your area and we will contact them and have them register.

2. Please review the list of activities and give us your suggestions on other activities we can add to this master list and any experts who you would like to recommend so we will make those additions.

3. Lastly, from tomorrow, we ourselves are contacting a lot of experts through the Golf Association, Scuba Diving Association, Mountaineering and Trekking clubs, Writers clubs, Art Directories etc. We expect that we will have a healthy number of such experts registered but we would like you to also recommend Experts as you know your areas best and what you know, no one else would know.
If you know people in your area conducting courses ask them to visit this link

and register themselves. This link is not visible from our homepage so you will have to give this to them.
In about 10 days time, we will make changes to our website where travelers can come and search for Golf Vacations, Trekking Vacations, Scuba Diving Vacations etc. and book HomeStays at the same time.

Lastly, I look forward to your comments on this new initiative and welcome your feedback. As always, we are here to help each other. I would also encourage any of you who are interested in writing articles or reviews on your homestay, to do so for our other blog
http://indianhomestays.blogspot.com - to please get in touch!

As always, keep logging into your account on www.HomeStaysDOS.com to be updated.

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