Hosted accommodation marketplace Homestay.com has launched a new digital platform that integrates video call technology into its website.
Homestay Communicate allows guests and hosts to see and speak with each other as part of the booking process.
A first phase of Homestay Communicate went live last month with the integration of the tool into the new Homestay.com app set to happen in April.
To use Homestay Communicate customers need a webcam and an up-to-date web browser. Guests and hosts can choose to video call each other once an initial booking request has been sent, though there is also the option to just use audio.
After a booking has been made Homestay Communicate enables users to stay in touch to discuss details of an upcoming trip.
Alan Clarke, chief executive, said: “At Homestay.com, we know that people are at the heart of a great homestay experience.
“Homestay Communicate is just one of the tools we’re launching this year to put our guests and hosts at the centre of the Homestay.com experience, creating a real point of difference from our competitors.”
Homestay Communicate was developed on TokBox’s OpenTok Platform. Scott Lomond, chief executive of TokBox, said:
“We’ve supported a number of major innovations and industry firsts, and we’re excited for Homestay.com in bringing this evolution to the shared economy travel and accommodation sector.
“The OpenTok Voice and Video Platform is used by hundreds of leading companies around the world, including Mozilla, Bridgestone and Double Robotic, and now Homestay.com.”
Homestay.com has 30,000 hosts in 140 different countries.