Welcome to our newest member – Hostelling Scotland
Interview with Dawn Murphy – Sales Executive
Tell us your story. How did Hostelling Scotland get started?
Hostelling Scotland is a not-for-profit charity with over 60 youth and affiliate hostels. Since 1931, we have welcomed visitors from all over the world, providing affordable, welcoming accommodation in some of the best locations across Scotland. We pride ourselves on exceptional service, offering expert local knowledge and a warm welcome to all those with an adventurous spirit and who wish to experience the real Scotland.
We remain true to our ethos and are proud of our charitable objectives, with people and communities at the heart of our organisation. Our charitable youth programmes enable young people to develop their skills for life, learning and work.
What makes Hostelling Scotland different from your competitors?
We are more than just a bed for the night!
We are a not-for-profit charity with people and communities at our heart. Our charitable youth programmes give young people and families, who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity, the chance to experience Scotland and develop their life skills.
With youth hostels in key locations across Scotland, we offer great value, flexible accommodation, expert local knowledge and a warm welcome for anyone wishing to explore and discover the real Scotland. Our locations are unique – from cities to islands, beaches and mountains and all points in between! We offer a great mix of private and shared rooms, perfect for groups, families and individual travellers looking to discover the real Scotland.
All of our youth hostels are Visit Scotland accredited.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
We are perfectly positioned to cater for group travel and over the last 5 years we have seen a 14% rise in the number of groups choosing to stay with us.
What can we expect to see from Hostelling Scotland in the future?
Large scale refurbishments at our Oban, Lochranza, Aberdeen and most recently Glen Nevis reflect our long-term strategy of modernisation across our network, improving the overall hostelling experience in Scotland and meeting the needs of a new generation of hosteller.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
International educational travel has increased to Scotland, particularly over the last 2 years as the value of the pound has become attractive to overseas buyers. This coupled with Scotland being perceived as a safe destination for travel is increasing the popularity and surge in visitor numbers.
Domestic youth travel has seen a small decline particularly as local schools and authorities reconsider their spending budgets on academic led activities.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Hostelling Scotland?
Safety is at the forefront of our operation. With policies and procedures in place that ensures the wellbeing of our travellers remains a priority. Single gendered accommodation, age restrictions set on shared accommodation, electronic key entry door systems and 24-hour receptions name just a few measures installed in our hostels.
Our teams engage with our guests, particularly in our rural sites, so that we remain aware of our guests’ plans for the day to ensure their wellbeing even when they are out on hikes and treks.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
Like Hostelling Scotland, WYSE is unique – a not-for-profit organisation representing the youth travel market. We believe we can benefit from their expertise and develop proactive partnerships with other member organisations.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? If so, what was your experience with the event?
Hostelling Scotland representatives have attended STAY WYSE on a number of occasions, to assist in maintaining existing partnerships as well as building relations with new ones. Every year has been more successful than the previous, which makes it exciting looking forward to the next.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing at this time?
The uncertainty Brexit brings is a consideration for the hospitality trade as a whole. Scotland is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination and we certainly hope this continues to be
Hostelling Scotland welcomes visitors from all over the world, providing affordable, welcoming accommodation in some of the best locations across Scotland. We pride ourselves on exceptional service, offering expert local knowledge and a warm welcome to all those with an adventurous spirit and who wish to experience the real Scotland.
For more information, visit their website: www.hostellingscotland.org.uk
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Full Member
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