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YHA NZ Expanding Despite Gloomy Predictions

Media Information
November 14, 2008

YHA NZ Expanding Despite Gloomy Tourism Predictions

In a mark of confidence for the backpacking and budget travel sectors,
YHA New Zealand has purchased five star Rotorua property Treks Backpackers from the Scapens family. The acquisition of the 187 bed facility enables YHA New Zealand to manage its own presence in Rotorua for the first time since 1999.

YHA’s purchase of Treks, together with the acquiring Action Downunder Backpackers in Taupo last year, represents a significant investment in central North Island tourism for the organisation. The CEO of YHA Mark Wells says with Treks’ high quality facilities for independent travellers and its group facilities, and the additional capacity in Taupo, YHA is able to pursue new business opportunities in both the FIT (Fully Independent Travellers) and group travel markets that weren’t feasible to target two years ago.

“Despite pessimism about tourism in general, it’s an exciting time for YHA,” Mr Wells says. “We’re confident about the backpacking market holding up better than some of the upper end and older markets,” he says. “We’ve just had a very strong October and our forward bookings are good - not only that but we feel we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the domestic market.”

Outgoing Treks proprietor Bill Scapens views the sale as a positive development for Rotorua and the business he and his family opened in 2005. “I’ve always wanted to get the property which my family, staff, and I have worked so hard on out on the national stage, and the sale to YHA is a great way to do this,” Mr Scapens says. “YHA provides good professional opportunities for staff, and with YHA marketing both the property and the destination it’s also good for Rotorua.”

While the Scapens family have sold Treks, Bill Scapens says he’s still very positive about growth opportunities in tourism – especially with a backpacker and groups oriented property like Treks. “It gives YHA a chance to get more of the resilient backpacker market in Rotorua, and also to capitalise on Rotorua’s status as a gathering point for everything from sports tournaments to cultural events and conferences.”

The sale of Treks sees all current staff being retained by YHA New Zealand with management handover effective from the 17th of November.

About YHA New Zealand:
YHA New Zealand owns 26 hostels throughout New Zealand and licenses a further 25 hostels to operate as associate hostels. The network contains 6 five Star Qualmarked properties and YHA Wellington City has been voted best hostel in Oceania two years in a row in the prestigious Hostelworld Hoscars.

YHA New Zealand is a non-profit, membership based organisation committed to a mission of “Delivering services to members which enrich their understanding of others and the environment by providing quality accommodation and travel experiences.” The organisation has placed a particular emphasis on sustainability and is a multiple winner of sustainability awards.

To book your next holiday with YHA visit or call 0800 278 299.


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