HI-USA is encouraging community service with their Great Hostel Give Back program.
Hostelling International USA offers groups free lodging in exchange for community service
This January and February, groups of 10 or more can stay for free at a participating Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) hostel for each day they volunteer in the community at least two hours. This program, better known as the Great Hostel Give Back, enabled nearly 250 individuals to perform more than 2,200 hours of community service last year alone.
With just a two-hour minimum requirement for volunteering per day, groups are also able to enjoy the destinations they are visiting, with many hostels offering free or low cost tours and activities for guests. This offer is only available in January and February for a maximum of five free nights per group, but additional overnights may be purchased at the prevailing rates.
This is the fourth year for this program.
How does it benefit the hostel to offer free stays in low season?
- It creates goodwill and a positive reputation among the community through the beneficial work of volunteers.
- It introduces the hostel and the concept of hostelling to the participants (future customers).
- It bumps up the communal atmosphere for paying guests by adding more people.
- It boosts revenue through supplemental sales like food, drinks, tours, etc.
- It provides the opportunity to book small groups for additional nights after the five free days.
- The act of helping people feels good and gives you good karma.
Would you consider a program like this for your hostel?