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HSSA Awards: IndiaScribes.com Homestays & Serviced Apartments Awards 2017

For the first time in India, news and entertainment portal IndiaScribes.com has announced a unique guest and user-review-based awards for the Home Stays and Serviced Apartments sector in Mumbai – IndiaScribes.com Mumbai Home stays & Serviced Apartments Online Awards 2017.

In addition to the awards, the portal announced its intention to launch an independent rating system (like that in use by Star Hotels across the world) for Homestays and Serviced Apartments in India.

According to Awards and Editorial Director Megha Chaudhary, “For the first time, we are professionally grading and rating home stays and serviced apartments. For the first year 2017, this exercise is being conducted only in Mumbai. Next year, in January 2018, we will repeat the exercise Pan-India, and cover all the home stays and serviced apartments all over India.

As per definition, Homestay is a popular form of hospitality and lodging whereby visitors stay in a house or apartment of a local of the city to which they are travelling. In some places, it is also known as Bed and Breakfast Scheme and supported by local authorities.

The length of stay can vary from one night to even a year and can be free, in exchange for monetary compensation, in exchange for a reciprocal stay at the guest’s property either simultaneously or at another time (home exchange), or in exchange for help on the host’s property. Longer term home stays are popular with students that are participating in study abroad programs. Home stays are examples of collaborative consumption and sharing. In cases where money is not exchanged in return for accommodation, they are examples of a barter economy or gift economy.

However, in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad and all over the world, the concept of Home Stays has extended to include corporate clients or business travellers and has become a professionalized business. In Mumbai, home stays are professionally managed and staffed by experienced hospitality professionals.

As opposed to Home stays which are run by individual owners who own surplus residential real estate and rent it to students and budget guests, Serviced Apartments can be considered the wealthier cousin or big brother of Home Stays. A Serviced Apartment is a completely furnished apartment with modern amenities including Satellite TV, Wi Fi and air conditioning, all included and available for both short-term and long- term stays. They are inclusive of utility bills and provide all of the hotel-like amenities such as maid service, reception and 24 hour customer and room service. Both home stays and serviced apartments may provide in-house kitchens where guests can cook their own meals, or may include a cook who provides basic cooked items or makes to order. Home stays lack the 24-hour room service which has become de facto for serviced apartments.

While corporate entities and international hospitality chains also run and manage Serviced Apartments, their tariffs are only marginally lower than the hotel chains run by the brand, which makes it beyond the budgetary reach of students and low-budget travellers.

“Home stays are the new budget hotels of today, replacing motels and lodges and have become extremely popular in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. While online travel agencies (OTAs) do rate and grade Home stays based on user feedback, there is no industry-wise rating agency for the sector. IndiaScribes.com has moved in to fill this gap, with professional independent editorial reviews as well as paid promotions to help home stay owners market their properties in a more efficient way with reasonable marcom expense budgets,” explained Megha Chaudhary, Awards and Editorial Director, explaining that a panel of jurists will technically evaluate information and user feedback from various sources including social media sources to arrive at the list of winners for the sector.

“Extensive data mining and data analysis will be carried out. It will be a thoroughly extensive and independent exercise to rate and grade home stays and service apartments in Mumbai,” said Chaudhary.

“A star-based grading or rating system is also being set in place, but is evolving and more research is required before it can be finalised and will be announced after the Awards. Home stays and Service Apartments will rated from 1-star to 7-stars, based on ten different parameters including service, comfort, ambience and aesthetics, pricing, amenities, safety, facilities offered, etc.,” Chaudhary said.

Home Stay and Serviced Apartment owners can contact via email: indiascribesnow@gmail.com for more information regarding the above news release.

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