A Japanese start-up came up with an unusual idea to combine business with pleasure. It intends to offer free or cheaper accommodation in exchange for work. Check out how exactly it works.
If you dream of a trip to Japan, a certain company meets your expectations and offers a service that will make you spend much less money on this trip. A Japanese start-up wants to offer guests accommodation in exchange for work. In this way, it will not only tempt tourists, but will also help hotels that lack staff.
Free accommodation in exchange for work
High prices of flights and accommodation make people think about traveling much longer or decide not to travel at all. However, there are companies in the world that want to fight this “crisis” and do everything to make trips more profitable again. One such start-up intends to offer people much cheaper or even free accommodation in exchange for work.
Otetsutabi – this word is a combination of Japanese words meaning helping and traveling – meets the expectations of travelers who do not have much cash and hoteliers in need of employees.
The initiative is intended to allow travelers to help complete a number of tasks and receive reduced overnight rates or a free stay in return. The company also aims to help visitors to Japan see its less traveled corners.
A revolution in traveling
The concept of Otetsutabi is based on the practice of “wwoofing”, in which volunteers help on organic farms in exchange for free accommodation.
In the Japanese version, employees perform tasks such as cleaning rooms, making beds, keeping common areas tidy and helping in the kitchen. As a reward, they receive stays in the most characteristic hotels and resorts in Japan.
Interested travelers should visit the Otetsutabi website, where hoteliers and farm owners post job offers – including working hours, types of tasks and benefits. The site currently lists hundreds of hotels, inns and mountain resorts.
“We want to create a future in which people can play multiple roles and support local communities,” Rina Nagaoka, CEO of Otetsutabi, told Japan News.
For now, the program is mainly aimed at Japanese speakers, and the website is only available in Japanese. In addition to helping travelers and the hospitality industry, Otetsutabi wants to encourage guests to explore Japan’s rural and less-visited regions.
“The more empty an area appears, the more interesting it is,” Nagaoka says.
What do you think about it?