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December 11, 2017

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What is LGHEI?

Lesbian & Gay Hospitality Exchange International is a growing network of lesbians and gay men from around the world who offer their hospitality to other members at no charge. These hosts, in turn, are received when they travel. There are currently more than 500 listings in over 30 countries.

It was founded in 1991 as GHEI - Gay Hospitality Exchange International - and registered as a non-profit organization designed to provide a service to our community. The organization changed its name to Lesbian & Gay Hospitality Exchange International in 1993.

Apart from the obvious financial benefit of staying in members' homes when we travel, the network offers the more significant advantage of cultural, intellectual and social exchanges through such personal contact. We are able to see a place from the locals' perspective instead of as tourists. If that were all, you would already have enough reasons to join, but the close friendships that develop are an added bonus that we could never put a price on.

How Does LGHEI Function?

An online directory is available year round. Members who wish to travel use the website to contact the members they would like to be received by. Members are expected to give their prospective hosts some advance notice before making their visit. Last minute requests for accommodation are not appreciated and can simply be denied. Members are expected to answer all requests for accommodation, whether in the affirmative or the negative. Members are expected to limit requests for hospitality to two nights. This protects hosts from being stuck with a guest with whom they are incompatible and protects the traveller from outright refusals of hospitality because of the hosts' fear of that possibility. However, hosts are free to offer longer stays at their discretion - and many do after learning how interesting and pleasant their guests are.

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