Reimagining hospitality

I’d like to get some ideas about hospitality, how we can adapt and bring about a model which can satisfy our innate need to connect and provide and accept hospitality from others.
Of couse we are met with obstacles in terms of international travel. The old model of the hospex sites of international travellers arriving here at a moment’s notice to stay in our office and share our house and meals are a distant memory.

Here in Australia ,we get so many different pieces of information about when and if our borders will reopen, then we hear of plans to purpose build quarantine facilities. That all sounds like long term planning for restricted international borders.

What concerns me is that as a nation we have become rather inward looking during the last year. The outside world doesn’t seem so alluring, interesting or even possible. At present there is a concentration on bringing overseas nationals back here. The other priority is trying to ensure a “normal” lifestyle here. Both have been reasonably successful. But the itchy problem seems to be that has made us parochial.

Presumably refugees will once again become a priority to accept here , then migrants and overseas students. Overseas tourists are hardly on the national agenda. We get mumblings from Qantas they are offering international flight schedules, but that’s all a fantasy at present.
Of course, every country has its own priorities.

Anyway, what I’m wondering is how we can think about hospitality in general . Some have mentioned virtual meetups, others have mentioned coffee and cake. Others have mentioned trivia games.

I’m wondering if we could do something different to that. Maybe we could think about how to reach out to the recent refugees or overseas students in our countries to offer a welcoming hand? It would set this website wide apart from the other hospitality websites.

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I like your thinking outside the square.
I can’t see any other way of offering hospitality to anyone other than through a drop down list of finding travellers, events, groups or local advice and they are all on the CS website.
I can think of only two ways to offer hospitality - offering a couch to sleep on or being available to meet up.
But I do agree that providing things that aren’t by any other hospex would be a winner for couchers.

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I know that some places plan “practice your English” or “practice X language” events to help people who recently moved there to work on their language skills and make some friends too! International potlucks are something we do here in Madison from time to time. It’s a great way to get to know new people and new cuisines! It would be fun to plan something like that.

Couchers.org’s event feature will make planning events like these – including recurring events! – much easier. Community pages will also have “guides” which you can create to help people visiting your city/country or those who recently moved there.

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Yes, I think by building the general community features that are already on the roadmap, like community pages, events and guides, we’re already on a good track here. We probably don’t need to suggest specific application of these features, but rather support member’s imagination by building these general tools the best way we can?

An additional way to support members in imagining and re-imagining what hospitality means for them and their community could be to have a platform for exchange and showcase of their approach. Let’s say @PhilipandHugh use the platform to reach out to refugees or students in an inspiring way. It could be great to have a place on the forum or elsewhere to share that inspiration and talk about their experience between active community organizers.

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This is just a random idea I just had, but: what if there were a third category? We already have traveler and local, but what if we had a way to indicate in your profile that you are not a traveler, because you are staying for a while, but you are not a local, because you just arrived? Like local/traveler/immigrant there´s definitely a better word, but I can’t think of it now). This way people would know you just arrived and need to make new friends and do activities that maybe a traveler doesn’t have interest on. Maybe tag activities that you are into, but would like friends to do with you, like concerts, talks, sports, etc so people can invite you whenever they have those plans.

Also we could add a different set of tools, for example: we have “offer to host”, we could have “offer to host dinner” or something like that?

Of course all this has a high risk potential to be misused by the usual crew that tries to use the site as a dating site, and we may end up with a bunch of creeps offering attractive people to go for a drink, so it just an idea, I’m not sure how or if any of may work, but those would be ways to open the options to offer hospitality in this strange times.