Holiday Exchange

The Social and Solidarity Home Exchange where you are the owner of the Platform

Who we are?

The Association “Holiday Exchange Coop” is the first step to develop the International Platform Coop “Holiday Exchange”.

Is promoted by Mariana Vilnitzky, Jose Grau, Daniel Tamajón and Margot Pascual (click on the drawings to see more about our CV’s) .

The Project

Mariana Vilnitzky, Jose Grau, Daniel Tamajón and Margot Pascual, with the help of the Barcelona City Council, are launching the International Cooperative Platform “Holiday Exchange Coop”.

The monopolistic practices that are taking place at the Home Exchange market (the same monopolistic practices that are going on in all Internet platforms that are not cooperative) have monetized and weakened the old swap atmosphere (with the values of cultural exchange, friendship, peace, solidarity, responsibility and local commitment). One platform bought all of its competitors, putting a price in the houses (points per day). People’s data was sold to the new platform, changing the rules. A lot of users are very angry with this, because putting a price on houses changes everything. Besides, there is no home exchange platform in the world of the Social Economy, and this new project will also help the people involved on this issues to know more people and projects around the world (house coops, cohousings, communities, just people involved in changing the world for better, living in normal houses).

The Coop

The worker/consumer owned coop we propose will permanently guarantee the philosophy of the exchanges, and that the data of its members will never be transferred to third parties, as has recently happened. The Holiday Exchange Cooperative will promote the exchange of housing in a way that respects the environment, spreads responsible tourism, and promotes projects of the Social and Solidarity Economy.

Although investors are very welcome, good part of the trading surplus of the coop will be used to promote projects of responsible tourism, tackling climate change, poverty and inequality, according to policies decided by the coop members.

What we offer

The cooperative model that we will implement will have the purpose of making available for people a secure technology platform offering housing (in the broadest sense: houses, apartments, boats, caravans, motor homes…) and also cars; that allows them to make exchanges. To join as a user, a registration fee must be paid. This entitles the user to use the platform and achieve secure exchanges for one year. After this period, at any time, active membership can be renewed, subject to a renewal fee.

Active users who want to become part of the coop may acquire a title of co-ownership, which they must sell back to the cooperative at the moment they cease being active users. Governance of the platform will include policies of respect for the environment, and the promotion of responsible tourism. Acquiring a Coop Title will give the user the possibility to participate in global decisions, Online and/or presence Assemblies, and having the possibility to be voted to became part of the Board, deciding daily issues at monthly meetings. Cooperators will also access all of the financial and business information of the Platform.

We will use most of the trading surplus to promote projects of social and solidarity economy, according to policies decided by the cooperative’s members. People will be required to include in their profile recommendations for social enterprises in their area. For instance, in Barcelona we can recommend visiting the restaurant and bar of the Marina Museum, that is led by a coop for social inclusion.

Exchanges may be direct or indirect; simultaneous or not. A direct exchange is the one that is carried out through an agreement between two users, who decide to cede to each other the use of their homes, and possibly other elements, with total freedom. It can be at the same time of the year or not. An indirect exchange is the one in which a user is received by a host who does not return the visit, and that is why he acquires the right to be received by a third party. By means of this type of agreement, visit ‘chains’ are established with what we call ‘purses’ (short time exchanges) or ‘suitcases’, for longer that one week exchanges. The management and control of both types of exchange is one of the objectives of the platform.

Where we are & what we need

Right now, we are working on creating a community capable of funding the first quality platform. The whole project requires about 300.000 euros to have a good quality webpage. The Business Plan leads to the idea that we need to reach a target of 4,100 users/coop owners paying 120 euros a year in order to be in a break even. We think we can be there in 5 years. Immediately, we need to create the community, but this needs financing.

It is, as we say in Spanish, ‘like a dog that eats its tail’:  we need money to spread the message and to create the first phase of the platform, that cost 30.000 Euros, where people can post a profile, including properties. If we don’t have enough money to do a good international marketing campaign. Without this “first phase” platform we cannot build a minimum viable product to show, so no matter how good the project is, we will not bring in enough people to create a good starting community.

Would you like to join us?

Please introduce your name and email, to be aware at the news about the project, and become more involved.