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Are businesses allowed to use ws to advertise? I have seen it 2 or 3 times while riding around the US. Example: Free shower in you buy something at our bike shop. (West coast)
That's a great question, Joey. Here are the rules of Warmshowers that apply, copied from the FAQs page:
1. The member information on this site is to be used only for members to contact each other about hospitality , and not for any other purpose.
2. The WSL is for hospitality for private individuals (or couples or very small groups) touring on bicycles. Please don't use it for other types of hospitality - for your large group of teenagers doing a cross-country ride, or for your large-group fund-raising event (even though it's for AIDS or cancer or some other fine cause).
6. Hosts are not allowed to require any payment for the hospitality that they offer other warmshowers members. Guests may help out of course; you can fix a meal, bring some beer, etc.
7. Businesses (hotels, B&B's, etc.) may not use the site for promotional purposes or charge members for the hospitality that they offer.
The short version is, Warmshowers is strictly a not for profit social organization of individuals who offer what they may to bicycle tourists without charge. No business may advertise here nor may those who are members act as businesses.
It's a simple as that.
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