The Value of the Youth Travel Accommodation Industry

This seminar will present the results of the annual STAY WYSE Youth Travel Accommodation (YTA) survey of business operations for the year 2011, covering almost 2,200 YTA establishments worldwide. The report has become particularly important, because it is the only global indicator of the state of the YTA sector, and because it seeks to provide concrete business metrics that allow operators to benchmark their own performance against global and regional standards. The session will review the highlights of the survey and present trends, followed by a panel discussion.

Presenter: Professor Greg Richards, Tourism Research & Marketing

Greg has been involved with the STAY WYSE research programme for the past 7 years. He has produced numerous reports on the global youth travel market, all the STAY WYSE research reports, language travel, volunteer travel, backpacker travel and the cultural impacts of youth travel. He founded the ATLAS Backpacker Research Group and is co-editor of the Global Nomad study of the backpacker market.

Moderator: Philip Houghton, STAY WYSE Board Member and Owner of Starboard Hotels

Philip Houghton, STAY WYSE Board Member and Owner of Starboard Hotels and Smart City Hostels, will be moderating the seminar. Philip has over twenty years’ experience in the hospitality industry and is responsible for both business development as well as the ongoing day to day operation of the portfolio. His strong industry know how has helped Starboard grow into a profitable, award winning organisation.

Panelist: Eric van Dijk, Generator Hostels

Eric van Dijk, Director of Business Development at Generator Hostels, started his career working in the London hotel industry in 4 star hotels. He joined Generator Hostels in 2000; based out of Generator London he went on to develop the biggest hostel in Berlin with 900 beds. In 2007 Generator was acquired by the Patron capital group and Eric has been responsible for the business development side; adding six more properties in Europe with more planned for the future. Eric has been an active STAY WYSE member since 2007.

Panelist: Russ Hedge, Hostelling International USA

Russ Hedge is the Chief Executive Officer of Hostelling International USA (HI-USA), the national non-profit organization that operates hostels and related cross-cultural programs across the United States. He has served in his present position since 2000. Hedge has been a featured speaker at national and international conferences on topics ranging from experiential education to nonprofit management.

Panelist: Paul Hastings-Gayle, HostelBookers

Paul Hastings-Gayle is Head of Business Development at HostelBookers, a major online budget accommodation provider. He has eleven years of highly successful experience in business and market development, having worked as Group Manager of UK university and travel shops, and as UK & Ireland Market Development Manager at STA. Paul has been with HostelBookers for five years.

The aims of the study are:

  • To collect data for the purpose of identifying trends and making relative comparisons.
  • Provide guidance to youth travel accommodation providers in assessing their business performance, cost effectiveness, revenues, and expenses relative to the industry standard.
  • To enable youth travel accommodation operators to benchmark their business characteristics in order to develop strategic concepts and optimize business outcomes.
  • To help youth travel accommodation providers to develop business plans and help guide investment decisions.

STAY WYSE would like to thank, HostelBookers, Hostelling International, SAYTC and who helped distribute the survey, and its sponsors for their support in producing the work; in particular MasterCard Worldwide, NYC & Company, Generator Hostels and the International Student Identity Card. For a full list of our sponsors please click here.

Detailed findings of the survey will be released during the STAY WYSE seminar at the World Youth & Student Travel Conference, Wednesday 19th September at 10:45am at the Sheraton San Diego Bay Hotel in rooms Spinnaker 1 and 2.