There are many reasons people around the world (more than 25,000 in fact!) use Hostel Management. It's an incredible resource for owners, managers, dreamers, and doers. The core of Hostel Management is sharing knowledge with the hostel community, and we are excited for our newest feature doing just that.
Byron Bunda and Erin Walsh are two of Hostel Management's guest contributors that are about to enrich our community in a big way. They will be spending 5 weeks traveling across the US to speak to as many hostels as possible about their successes and their challenges. They will get the chance to find out everything from what makes a hostel in a key area stand out to how hostels in more remote areas have had to adapt.
The best part: they will be blogging their entire journey for Hostel Management so that our whole community can learn too. For those of you who followed my Best Practices/ Tip & Tricks blog series through Australia & New Zealand in 2013, you know how valuable this information can be.
Byron and Erin's trip will stop in big tourist cities like LA, up & coming travel destinations like Philadelphia, remote off the beaten path places you may not even know of, and everywhere in between. They have visits arranged with hostels of different sizes, from big chains to mom & pop independents, as well as hostels differing in success, such as properties currently opening new locations to hostels that are struggling and looking into new ways to turn things around.
In general, they are looking for the best and most unique, which doesn't always mean the normal standouts. While there is plenty to learn and emulate from the industry leaders, there is also a wisdom in less traditional ways and learning how to adapt. The variety of their trip will only add to the huge knowledge base they will be able to share.
While this trip promises to be a resource for any hostel owner, it will be especially useful for those who have hostels in the US, or who want to open in the US. Not only will it help provide resources for some US-centric issues, we in the US have long lacked a nationwide (or even continent-wide) hostel organization that so many other countries have.
It's often thought that the hostel industry is more active in places like Europe or Australia than in the US, and a major mission of this trip is to create more engagement in the US hostel industry. Perhaps we'll finally end up with a US hostel association after this!
So who are Byron & Erin? Two people who are ready to take years of experience in other industries and funnel all of that dedication and love towards hostels.
Erin's background comes from managing a territory for a Fortune 250 consumer packaged goods company. During her tenure she helped hundreds of convenience store owners build their businesses by advising them on strategies for increasing profits, sales, and local market share. She looks forward to leveraging her extensive experience helping small business owners in order to help hostels succeed in a similar way.
Byron's background has focused on helping small businesses improve their operations. In the past he has worked with an independent coffee roaster, a small restaurant chain, and an early-stage tech company. In each organization he has led efforts to improve the speed, quality, and efficiency in which these businesses service their customers. He plans on blending the lessons learned from each of these experiences to help hostels improve their operational systems.
The University of Connecticut is where Byron and Erin met. Erin studied Communications and led the promotions department for the student radio station. Byron majored in Entrepreneurship and spent too much time studying, graduating in the top 5% of his class. It was during their semester abroad that their love for hostels was first ignited. You can also read more about them on our Contributors page here
So now Byron & Erin's goals are to learn as much as possible, as well as help out where needed while highlighting best practices of the many aspects of hostels. Do you have an area you'd like to see them discuss? Do you have a hostel in the US you'd like them to check out? Shoot them an email if you'd like to connect.
Finally, does this sound like something you would be interested in pursuing? Hostel Management is always on the lookout for opportunities for contributing members. If you are interested in helping spread knowledge in the hostel management industry, please don’t hesitate to reach out.