Luxury Hostels of Europe- Rebranding the image of hostels - Kash Bhattachararya
"Luxury Hostels of Europe-Rebranding the image of hostels" Kash Bhattacharya
What to expect today1. Little about me & video of a Luxury Hostel and….. me getting wet in the shower2. 4 problems- How I arrived at the idea of the project3. Definition of what is a Luxury Hostel and how it evolved throughout the project4. Impact achieved5. 5 key takeaways from my project for you to reflect on
WHO is the My name is Kash. Not Cash.BudgetTraveller? Been blogging for 4 years. Full-time professionally for 2 years Started my own magazine for students in Scotland when I was 20 & bankrupt by 21. Working in publishing for 8 years as an advertising manager for lifestyle publications.
VideoMy interview about Luxury Hostels for GermanTV station RTL2http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLeKEUqokuQ
‘Problems are the best source ofinspiration for the best ideas andinnovations.’
4 problems of the BudgetTravellerIdea was born on the……29th April, 2012
Early hours of 29th April, I was stuck in a 12 beddorm with a bunch of Brazilian guys who weresnoring like hyenasProblem no 1: Ear plugs really don’t work. At33 was I too old for hostelling?
After the recent breakdown of a longterm relationshipon advice of a friend I had started dating viaMatch.comAfter a few not so successful attempts I finally gotmyself a date with a lovely girl whose sole goal in lifewas to travel the world.Soulmate?Date was going really well. She laughed at my stupidjokes. All was going well until I told her that…
I write about budget travel & love hostelsShe confessed to me we could never travel togetherbecause she hates hostels.‘Unlike when I was 19, I have a job and money now.Just like girls of my own age I prefer my own spacestaying in a hotel and having a room to myself thanstaying with smelly backpackers in a hostel dorm.Problem no 2 Girls of my age have a negativeperception of hostelling
Problem no 3To make things worse I was having a hard timegoing to communal hostel toilets. I wasdiagnosed by Wikipedia as having a diseasecalled Parcopresis- Irrational fear of shitting inpublic toilets
Problem no 4 Negative image of Budget Travel & hostelling within the travel industryAttracting sponsors to work with my blog was abig problem.DMO’s I was working with were more keen onpromoting hotels and not recognising thepotential value of youth tourism.
The magic solution?Backpacking for grown-upsI needed to find a hybrid of a hosteland a hotelFind a project that could rebrand theimage of hostelling
To move away from the stereotypical boring image of hostels
To make hostels more sexier& stylish POETS HOSTEL Lisbon
MY BIG IDEA Create a guide to Luxury Hostels of EuropeInitial definitionA hostel that combines the luxury of a privateroom in a hotel with the friendly, social vibe of ahostel.
MY BIG IDEAVisit 50 Hostels, 43 cities in6 months.Hostels pay a fee to beinvolved.3 key elements1. Real-time blogging2. Blog posts3. Wrapping up blog postsinto a free e-book: Noguidebook on the market orblog.
Definition evolved during my tripWhy makes Luxury Hostelsdifferent + special?More than just a nicebed, it’s an experienceArgentine Tango lessons in ahostelCasa Gracia HostelBarcelona
OSTELLO BELLO, MilanWelcome drink, when you check in.Breakfast on demand!Relax in the sun, read a book on the 2 terraces.Aperitivo Hour: Hostel guests meet the locals
PLUS HOSTELS, FlorenceOutdoor and heated indoor swimming pool,sauna, steam bath, indoor restaurant, lounge andterrace bar, info and tour desk
‘More than just a bed, an experience’ Top 5 Luxury Hostel KitchensI had a look on google stats and were getting a highreferral rate from your blog, so its nice to see the workpaying off!Charley Batt, Loft Mountain Hostel
Impact so farVisited 31 hostels, 27 cities and handed out10000 postcards#Luxuryhostels has received 12 millionimpressions so far.NominatedMost innovative blogging projects of the year:World Travel Market 2012Destinology Travel Bloggy Awards.
Coverage in Glamour , Cosmopolitan & Conde NastTravellerQue! Spain biggest free newspaper & interviewedon German National TV.
Collaboration- Key to the projectProject has been a branding, PR exercise for hostels ,by collaborating with key brands in the niche likeeasyJet, Interrail, Travelzoo, Busabout &TravellerspointIn April 2013, Travelzoo UK will send a copy of the e-book to their 2.2 million subscribers
5 key takeaways1. Good customer service-smile doesn’t cost anything2. Create a memorable experience3. Empower and make your staff your brand ambassadors4. Use social media to tell your story and communicate your brand5. Don’t forget solo travellers –Guest Relations Manager
Thank you for listening!Say hello!Facebook Facebook.com/BudgetTravellerTwitter Twitter.com/BudgetTravellerEmail email@example.com