A website has been developed to allow hoteliers to swap hotel rooms for their own use, for a minimal fee.
Graham Cox, who owned the Burford Lodge hotel in Burford, Oxfordshire from 2004 until 2009, said that he had previously swapped hotel rooms on an informal basis with fellow hoteliers.
"We then decided to formalise this principle and design a website where a hotelier could swap with other hoteliers who were registered on the site, as long as there was availability in the hotel, " said Cox, who explained that a key element of the website was to include a live-time booking engine.
"The beauty of the website is that a member doesn't have to directly swap with another member. I could book a room in one member's hotel, but he isn't obliged to book into my hotel - he can book into any other member's hotel he wants to."
There is no joining fee to join the scheme; members simply sign up and pay an administration fee of £20 per booking, regardless of the length of stay. The website also runs a forum for hoteliers to discuss issues and supplier offers.
After launching the site in the UK, Cox intends to expand it globally within six months.
By Janet Harmer
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