29 Mar 2017

Got a free bed for a Lions fan?

12:05 pm on 29 March 2017

A rugby fan hopes to give travelling rugby fans a taste of Kiwi culture through the time-honoured tradition of billeting.

2009 British & Irish Lions Tour, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa 23/6/2009
Emerging Springboks vs British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions players walk off the pitch after the game 
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Photo: Photosport

Greymouth rugby fan Adam Gilshnan

Greymouth rugby fan Adam Gilshnan is ready for the Lions tour. Photo: Supplied

Thousands of travellers are expected to descend in June when the British and Irish Lions arrive for their first tour since 2005.

Accommodation costs are skyrocketing, with some houses in Wellington and Auckland being rented out for more than $1000 a night on match weekends.

As an alternative, Greymouth man Adam Gilshnan set up a Facebook page connecting fans with families willing to billet them.

More than 500 people have signed up.

Mr Gilshnan hoped people who opened up their homes could give their guests a unique experience.

"If you're just a tourist staying at hotels you don't really get to meet too many locals.

"If you're welcomed into someone's home, you get to feel the culture. It's the chance of a lifetime for a lot of these fans to come over - it'd be really cool if we could show them we do really care about them, we don't just want to gouge them with prices."

Mr Gilshnan said the page lacked offers from Auckland, among the locations where accommodation was needed most.

He said he set up the billeting service to bring people together, not to make money. Any posts on the page asking for money would be deleted.

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