Travel comes as a temporary but important escape from our mundane lives. Most of us take at least 1-2 getaways almost every year to unwind our mind and re-energise ourselves. But, while the travelling part we like, looking for decent hotels with decent prices and then calling them up for finding about their facilities and availability is the part we all dread from. This particular travel problem was solved in India when Airbnb entered the Indian market.

Airbnb introduced India to the concept of homestays and how they are more feasible and enjoyable than staying at hotels. Since entering the market, the company has enjoyed a good run without any major player challenging its homestays turf. But, now things are about to change. Welcome HeyBnb, an online portal that helps connect travellers to hosts who are ready to share their homes or extra rooms with these travellers for brief stays.

While HeyBnb might not be a good thing for Airbnb, it is certainly a good news for travellers and tourists in India as more competition means more options for them to choose from and that too at competitive prices. So, hallelujah Indian travellers, your time has finally come.

Homestays offer travellers the comfort of staying in a home away from home and live and gel with local people, communities and their traditions.

Headquartered in Singapore, HeyBnb is currently operating in 11 countries and 40 cities. Built around the concept of shared economy of home sharing concept, the platform allows home owners/hosts to list their homes/rooms online on the platform absolutely free of cost, then set a price tag that they're expecting for the accommodation and lastly, upload pictures of the place so as to make it a little easier for homestay seekers to make their choice.

The company has recently launched in 17 cities in India including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Varanasi, Sarnath, Dehradun, Agra, Coorg, Bir Billing, Thekkady, Trichy and Puducherry.

According to a statement given by Kenny Blatt, HeyBnb Co-Founder and Head (Strategy), the company is currently focusing its energy on key cities across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia.

She said, "We are focusing largely on key cities across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia. In India alone, we started our operations this year with 17 cities and expect to increase our room count to 60,000 by end-October. The global size of the vacation stay market is expected to reach $170 billion by 2019, out of which five players own less than 10 per cent share, namely Home Away, Airbnb, VRBO, One Fine Stay and Tujian."

In India, the company's strategy is to target leisure travelers like youth, families, solo travelers and women travellers. That's is the reason that a majority of properties listed on HeyBnb currently are in the price range from Rs 1,000 - Rs 13,000. The company's mission is to make HeyBnb the one-stop platform for foreigners when they visit India.

By October, 2016, HeyBnb plans to have accomplished an inventory of over 60,000 properties in 70 cities all over the globe.

It will be interesting to watch how this Airbnb and HeyBnb battle pans out. Keeping watching this space for more regarding the same.

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