An innovative platform that helps restore privately-owned heritage homes to preen them for heritage stays is extending its reach across Asia.
Heritage Homes by Doh Eain currently operates in Myanmar, the Philippines and Georgia, overseeing about 800 rooms across about 400 properties. By the end of March, it plans to offer heritage home stays in Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
“The idea came from the observation that there are so many privately-owned heritage properties across Asia, where owners are struggling to restore and maintain them,” said founder and CEO, Emilie Röell.
Yangon-headquartered Heritage Homes by Doh Eain works with home owners to provide support on restoration and maintenance, while offering rooms and entire homes for rent via its online platform, akin to the Airbnb concept.
“We’ve seen a real increase in interest in authentic and meaningful travel, and impactful stays – people who want to immerse themselves deeper in local communities and leave behind some sort of positive impact,” said Röell. “This ticks all those boxes.”
Launched in 2015, the company is now preparing to start operations in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, with future plans to grow a regional network by establishing properties in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
She shared: “These are all countries with a lot of heritage. There’s sentiment at the moment in Sri Lanka and anything that can help kickstart tourism after all the disasters has been warmly welcomed.
“We chose Thailand because it’s central and connects other markets. We’re ready now to build this into a platform that is relevant regionally, so we can build a more loyal community of travellers and partners who travel to these different markets.”
In addition, Heritage Homes has started engaging with DMCs and tour operators with a focus on sustainability and culture.
“We’re looking to link our heritage homeowners with them,” added Röell. “We’re seeing a number of DMCs interested to expand their heritage and social impact offerings while contributing to preservation. We’re helping (to) connect them to an inventory of heritage homeowners and their properties.”
The business is also starting to work with digital nomad platforms and is exploring using some of the cluster properties on the platform to create ‘workation’ (work+vacation) destinations.
“This is the perfect platform for different travel actors to offer something that is heritage and impactful, while giving back by helping to conserve and preserve heritage,” said Röell.