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Wellington YHA Hostel Sets New Standards

Wellington YHA Hostel Sets New Standards

The newly refurbished Wellington City YHA hostel is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the country’s largest hostel network and sets new standards for backpacker accommodation in the city.

Speaking at a function to mark the completion of the refurbishment, attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark, YHANZ Chief Executive Mark Wells praised the hostel and its staff for its achievements.

In just over 10 years the city hostel has grown from a 96 bed facility, to 322 beds, offering a mix of private and shared accommodation, including double rooms with ensuites. In November the hostel, the largest in the YHANZ network, became the first in Wellington to earn the five-star Qualmark rating. Last year it averaged 78% occupancy – up 20% on the region’s average for the backpacker sector.

Wellington hostel staff had gone the extra mile, providing travellers with memorable local experiences, Mr Wells added. The efforts of Manager Hamish Allardice and his staff have been recognised in the 2005 Wellington Gold Awards, in which the hostel is a finalist. It is also an entrant in this year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards, in the backpacker accommodation sector.

The Wellington hostel is an excellent example of just how far the YHA network has continued to evolve and develop in response to travellers’ demands for quality affordable accommodation, Mr Wells said.

But while thousands of international travellers stay in YHA New Zealand hostels each year, for Kiwis the country’s largest hostel network is one of its ‘best kept secrets’. Fewer than 15% of guests are New Zealanders. Of the more than half a million bed-nights sold last year, only about 14% were to Kiwis.

“This presents a serious but exciting challenge for the Association – we want to share our secrets with New Zealanders as well as overseas tourists. Our focus in coming months is therefore to raise domestic awareness of the YHA hostel network,” Mr Wells said.

“We will be reminding New Zealanders that, whether they are coming to Wellington to visit Te Papa, or travelling to Franz Josef to see the glaciers, skiing in Wanaka or Queenstown, or just wanting to chill out at Opoutere on the Coromandel, we provide safe, quality, affordable accommodation in locations across the country.”

ENDS

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