A room of one's own - for a little while

Updated: 2015-03-01 06:22

By Xu Lin(China Daily)

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A room of one's own - for a little while

Li Feng / China Daily

With the development of websites advertising short-term rentals, growing numbers of young people in China are renting out their spare rooms online, attracting travelers from home and abroad with their hospitality and unique spaces.

According to the 2013 Industry Report of Online Short Rentals by China Index Academy, 60.6 percent of tenants rent a temporary lodging because they were traveling. More than 60 percent of landlords are aged between 21 to 35, and 80 percent of tenants are aged between 18 to 30.

"Meeting different people on your journey will help you explore your identity. I like to make friends with others. I've become friends with my tenants. They are fantastic and teach me about life," says Ye Yuting, 22, from Shanghai.

Last September, Ye began renting out her spare room online using the short rental pioneer website Airbnb. Ye says she wanted to "do something unique".

"It's not easy for recent college graduates to rent a good room in a big city with a limited budget. I wanted to figure out how I could live in the best house with the least amount of money. Airbnb is one way to do it," she says.

Ye and her friend spent about 5,000 yuan ($804) decorating a one-room apartment with the theme The Little Prince, a book by French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The average occupancy rate is more than 15 days per month, with the price set at 329 yuan ($53) per night.

She wants to present the home of the Little Prince, the Asteroid B-612, as it is in her imagination. She added personal touches from her own travels, such as fridge magnets from Thailand and a newspaper from New York.

Ye is not the only person who has found a second job as a landlord.

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