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September 12, 2012

An offer too good to refuse

One of the big hits at last week’s DTAS conference was a seminar that explored the untapped potential of community owned and run hostels, bunk houses and campsites. Delegates heard how a small, loss making hostel on the south coast of Wales had been transformed into a thriving community business with the highest occupancy rates outside of London. Hostel Hub, a social enterprise now based in Orkney, used the conference to make an extraordinary offer to any community in Scotland with hostel aspirations.



The Story:

On the west coast of Wales there was a small hostel in the village of Llanbedr. It was beset by problems, making a loss, unpopular with the villagers and due for closure. 

Within 2 years of new management by the Hostel Hub, it was making a profit and recorded the highest occupancy for a YHA hostel outside of London. 

The story of ‘how’ was the subject of a seminar at the recent DTAS conference.

The offer:

Hostel Hub wants to do it again – in Scotland. In order to prove that hostel-style accommodation can be highly profitable and a significant asset to the community it is in – and to gather data on the multiplier effect, business performance and impact on a community – Hostel Hub is proposing to run a community’s accommodation ourselves for two years as a pilot project / case study. 

We will move (from Orkney) to live and work in the hostel for two years, train the local team to be able to take over and run it after we have got it up and running  and trading successfully

We are also going to be doing Feasibility Studies and Option Appraisals for other communities with, or thinking of having, accommodation as one of their businesses. 

Any community or social entrepreneur can have our help with their project, accommodation or broader development plans, consultancy and advice. But only one can get us living and working on their site for 2 years.

Who will employ us for 2 years and get all the benefits?

When  we say ‘hostel’ this includes campsites, bunkhouses, hostels, lodges, caravan sites, chalets, hotels).