With some reports indicating that there may be a shortage of accommodation for fans attending the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, entrepreneurial websites like iStopOver.com are getting into the mix by offering non-traditional listings from locals who own apartments and houses in and around the World Cup venues. iStopOver.com’s World Cup site, which launched at the beginning of October, currently has over 800 listings submitted directly by local property owners. Fans can browse photos and other amenities, plus contact the owner directly with more questions. iStopOver.com takes a small cut on the final booking fee, which is not due until you complete your stay. On booking, payment goes directly to iStopOver.com via secure third-party, and is then held for release to the owner until after the stay is complete. Like other vacation-rental sites and community-oriented sites like CouchSurfing.org, there is an element of uncertainty to actual levels of comfort, cleanliness, and convenience, but iStopOver.com’s role as facilitator between guest and host means you assume more direct control over the trip-planning process. Beyond the World Cup, look for these types of sites to keep growing as more and more small businesses and individuals cut into a space normally dominated by the large hotel aggregators and portals.
|Email this post|||||Permalink|