BACK­YARDS ON CAMP SITE

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

CAMPERS ar are pitchin­git hi tents in sub­ur­ban back­yards as home­own­ers cash in on a new, low- bud­get ac­com­mo­da­tion ser­vice.

Charg­ing be­tween $ 15 and $ 30 per night, res­i­dents reg­is­ter their prop­er­ties on House­camp, a web­site con­nect­ing them with hol­i­day­mak­ers want­ing to save money by sleep­ing out in yards.

Touted as the Airbnb for camp­ing, home­own­ers list their prop­er­ties on the web­site, along with a de­scrip­tion of the lo­ca­tion and ser­vices on of­fer, which can in­clude the use of toi­lets, laun­dry and wi- fi.

House­camp’s founder, French­man David Abit­bol, who con­ceived the idea while tour­ing Aus­tralia, said the ma­jor­ity of hosts pro­vide ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties.

How­ever, one list­ing in Rand­wick, in Syd­ney’s east, ad­vised campers “no toi­let or shower avail­able” and rec­om­mended they use the fa­cil­i­ties across the road at the Univer­sity of NSW.

Mr Abit­bol said: “Hosts are free to pro­vide what­ever they like, but those who don’t share their fa­cil­i­ties prob­a­bly won’t at­tract in­ter­est from campers.”

Parts of the House­camp con­cept are still be­ing re­fined, in­clud­ing how hosts and campers are screened and re­viewed.

Jas­min Tay­lor, who runs a lo­cal camp­ing shop on Syd­ney’s north­ern beaches, has no­ticed a surge of in­ter­est within the camp­ing com­mu­nity – not just among back­pack­ers, but also lo­cal trav­ellers.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic idea – you can travel for cheap or make a bit of money from your backyard,” Ms Tay­lor said.

Syd­ney cou­ple Tracy and Rob Mor­ris are ea­ger to sign up to the ser­vice.

“It seems like a great way to save some money,” Mrs Mor­ris said.

“Trav­el­ling is ex­pen­sive with a fam­ily, so we’ll be us­ing the ser­vice our next trip.

“For now, we’re happy to let trav­ellers use our backyard.”

YARD SHARE: Tracy and Rob Mor­ris – pic­tured with their daugh­ter Marli, 3 – are open to the idea of rent­ing out their backyard so that peo­ple can camp in it.

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