Servas International

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Servas International
Motto Open Doors for Peace and Friendship
Founded July 1949; 69 years ago (July 1949) in Denmark
Founder Bob Luitweiler
Type Non-governmental organization
  • Zurich
Area served
Products Homestay
Services Hospitality service
Social networking service
15,000 in over 100 countries[1]
A Servas local meeting in Collegno, Italy in 2016

Servas International is a hospitality service and social networking service. It provides a platform for members to arrange homestays, offer hospitality, meet other members, and join events. The platform is a gift economy; hosts are not allowed to charge for lodging. However, members must pay an annual membership fee to the organization.

In Esperanto, Servas means "we serve (peace)".

Servas is an accredited Non-governmental organization and has been affiliated with the United Nations since 1973.[2]

Servas was founded in 1948, in the aftermath of World War II, by Bob Luitweiler and other Danish students as a peace movement.[3][4]

How it works[edit]

Unlike most hospitality services whereby users can join in a few minutes by registering online, members of Servas almost always must go through an interview process and submit letters of recommendation before they are admitted. Travelers write a self-introduction on a special form valid for one year, that is shown to hosts upon arrival. Although hosts do not charge for lodging, travelers must pay an annual fee to the organization, which varies according to region.[5][2]

Local chapters of the organization elect representatives to handle interviews and determine membership fees.