An international campaign to help save the hostel industry from the financial effects of the COVID 19 pandemic has been met with a huge response worldwide.
With the global travel industry devastated by the outbreak, thousands of hostels have been forced to close their doors without knowing when – or if – they will be able to reopen.
In response, industry leaders including travel blogger Kash Bhattacharya from the Budget Traveller, marketing agency Stay the Night and hostel.consulting have joined forces to launch the Adopt a Hostel campaign, with support from Hostelworld.
The campaign calls on travellers to purchase a virtual gift card for a future stay or donate to a hostel of their choice. Over 600 hostels from around the world have joined the campaign and many more are expected to follow.
Cathal & Sinead, owners of The Woodquay Hostel, Galway, said: “The hostel community in Ireland has played a major part in Irish tourism over the years and I know like many of us, our hostels are struggling in the ongoing pandemic. We had to make the hard decision in early March to close our doors but we are very hopeful that when people are ready and can travel again we will be here to help create the best travel memories again.”
Kash said: “The inspiration for ‘Adopt a Hostel’ came to us after seeing two independent hostels – The Beehive and 7 Fells – asking their past guests to help them through the crisis by buying a voucher.
“Seeing the passionate response to their idea made me think of the number of travellers out there who have an emotional connection to hostels and would like to give back and show their support by ‘adopting a hostel’.”
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the hostel industry had been going from strength to strength, with the global hostel market previously estimated to be worth $6.4bn by the end of 2020.
Many in the industry remain optimistic about the future beyond this difficult time.
Lior, an independent hostel coach and creator of hostel.consulting, said: “Many hostels I speak to accept the situation we are in as an industry and remain optimistic about the future. I really hope that – with the help of the Adopt a Hostel campaign – all hostels can pull through this and reopen their doors when travel returns once more.”
You can purchase a gift card or donate to a hostel via www.adoptahostel.com.