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Death of Hospitality Club

You could pretty much figure out by Veit’s unguided flame against BeWelcome last year, that his income through adds on Hospitality Club was already dropping. But now it appears that there are hardly any volunteers left at HC: these days it takes more than 4 months to get your profile approved after you sign up to become a new member. Nice one if you plan to travel the next day and just found out about hospitality exchange.

Greetings new member. We have just accepted you as a new member of Veit’s Club. It took us more than 4 months to have you approved but finally you (if you still remember us?) can connect with Hostility Club, one of the most friendly clubs on the internet and in the real world. – Slighly adapted welcome message that new members receive.

It might be sad to see Hospitality Club, the first online hospitality exchange service that we shared but also the one that is well known for its censorship-issues, ceased to exist beyond a plane website. But such is life if the so-called leaders simply don’t respect their members and volunteers.

8 Responses to “Death of Hospitality Club”

  • I’m happy to see it go. It needs to make room for something better.

    The natural course in life.

  • Good riddance. I joined CS and HC at the same time, filled out the same profile info and contacted the same number of people, treating both sites equally for the first 5 months and never made any connections through HC, despite getting great connections in CS. Afterwards I started changing address regularly (once every 2 months), waiting for that to be confirmed in HC meant that I could never host.

  • Wasn’t Global Freeloaders the first web based hospitality exchange network?

  • HC is still good for some regions

    If you want to get a couch with cool people in Eastern Europe, HospitalityClub is still *the* network to use. Very few of them ever signed up for Couchsurfing, and their impressions of it are often negative because they see it as a very mainstream community. Veit’s dictatorial control doesn’t bother them as long as they still make lots of connections with people they like. It’s really a pity that CS can’t attract them, since a lot of them are very active in hospex and are constantly hosting, traveling, and arranging gatherings.

  • I still receive requests for HC. I’d say 4% of my requests. But I never actually met one of them. They just stop existing after sending request.

  • Actually HC is strong in Eastern Europe thanks to the merge with pre-existing Hitch Hikers Database, where Veit copied the application form from and then succeded to have them join in.
    Even before there were several other internet networks: Travelhoo (where I met Veit in 1998), Hospex, Stay4free just to name a few.
    Hospex was very special at the time (1996/97): you had to send an email to a bot address following a precise scheme and after some time (minutes but sometimes even hours) you got an email back with a list of people satisfying the search paramethers.
    And of course there was Servas, but not online.
    So, HC is not the first online hospitality exchange service.

  • I wonder if it is the nature of people in charge of a good thing, having volunteers work for free, to get corrupted with power. I came to this site as I had experienced problems with the CS site (the lack of accessible/responsive hosts with reliable availability and then ascerbic CS volunteers). Can anyone who starts these things keep it going without becoming a dictator or abusive in some way?

    Regardless, Nature does love diversity so I guess it is live and let live.

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