In 1999, Hostelworld.com developed an idea that changed the face of the online budget travel industry. Their unique business model brought hostel reservations on-line and leap-frogged generations of cumbersome hotel reservation platforms in the process: Properties were able to put their availability on-line, manage their pricing in real time and gain direct and immediate access to customers across the globe. 10 years on Hostelworld.com has become the global market leader in the online distribution of budget accommodation and, since launch, has had over 15 million bookings selling over 71 million beds.
Hostelworld.com provides travellers with access to an unparalleled choice of hostels, with over 20,000 properties in 6,000 destinations spanning 170 countries. Over the past 10 years Hostelworld.com has maintained its position as industry leader by constantly addressing the needs of the modern day traveller and being at the forefront of innovation. Some highlights include:
· In 2000 Hostelworld launched a powerful free tool that transformed the way hostels ran their business. Backpack for Windows was the first Property Management System (PMS) specifically designed for hostels. In 2006 the product went online, rebranding to Backpack Online, allowing hostels to completely manage their business remotely, increasing the user base by 1000%. The product is still completely free of charge.
· In 2001 Hostelworld established their affiliate program which made content available to partner sites via white label, co-branded or xml solutions. The Hostelworld affiliate program has been adopted by over 3,000 partners including Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Ryanair and easyJet meeting demand for budget accommodation properties not served by hotel reservation websites.
· 2003 saw the birth of the Hoscars- the only awards to honour the hostel industry. Based on customer ratings and reviews the awards recognize only the very best. Now in its 8th year, the awards have helped improve the standards of hostels across the world.
· In 2005 Hostelworld launched the first annual hostel conference giving hostel owners from around the world an opportunity to learn more about up to the minute developments and trends in the hostel industry
· In 2006 Hostelworld.com was first to market with its own travel network MyWorld. It was the first social network of its kind by any online booking engine.
· User ratings and reviews have always been at the core of Hostelworld.com and to date the site has over 2 million user generated reviews.
To mark the launch of the 10th anniversary celebrations Hostelworld is launching its biggest consumer promotion yet a golden ticket promotion with a prize fund of 10,000. Customers that book on Hostelworld.com between July 27th and August 5th will be entered in a draw to win one of 10 golden tickets, each worth 1,000.