Hoa, 33, in Cau Giay district in Hanoi, often organizes picnics for her family and friends on weekends. Their favorite destinations are apartments or homestays in the suburbs of Hanoi, where they can enjoy freedom and space of their own.
However, to book a good one on weekends, she has to contact homestay owners 2-4 weeks in advance and pay a deposit.
Hoa last week searched a website that bridges travelers and homestay owners, planning to book for an upcoming picnic. However, nearly all the homestays around Hanoi were fully booked. Finally, Hoa decided to choose a place 50 kilometers from Hanoi.
Two years ago, homestays started popping up in the inner districts of Hanoi and the guests were mostly foreigners. But now, homestays are in the suburbs and neighboring areas, especially Soc Son, Ba Vi, Thach That, Gia Lam and Long Bien, and the guests are young Vietnamese.
Duy, the investor of a homestay in Soc Son district, said he had spent VND3 billion so far on the homestay. At first, he built a house for family reunions on weekends. But later, realizing the high demand for rooms for weekend holidays, he decided to turn the house into a homestay.
The guests coming in mid-week are mostly students and freelancers. They have to pay VND5-6 million to stay there for one day and night. The rent is higher on weekends, about VND8 million.
Duy said he is satisfied about the business model. “The earning is good, while the house still can serve family’s needs,” he said.
However, Duy said, the competition is getting fierce and homestays need to be original and ‘green’ to attract guests who want places to relax and live in nature. The investment must be high.
Tuan, a banking officer, who runs a homestay in Thach That district, said there must be gardens with green trees, fish ponds and fowls.
“This brings guests the fresh air, free space and experience they cannot have in the inner city,” Tuan explained.
Asked about business performance, Tuan said the occupancy rate is 40% and rent is VND4-8 million per day.
In Thach That district, besides the homestays built with sophisticated style, there are also simple homestays designed to be friendly to the environment with simple building materials and interior decoration.
According to Tuan, these homestays have the investment rate just equal to half of other homestays, so the rent is very competitive.