When demand exceeds supply, many hostels are tempted to squeeze in a few extra customers even after they are full. In the past we have talked about renting out sofas, hammocks, beanbag chairs, or even floor space in the full brunt of peak season to avoid turning a paying customer away. What do you think of this situation?
No room at the Inn: Hostel forced to move guests out
A hostel in Western Australia has been forced to evict 70 paying backpackers after local officials discovered they had crammed 180 people into a 110 capacity building.
The Brook Lodge Backpackers in Donnybrook was told to either slash the numbers of people staying under its roof or put in more toilets and showers, according to a report in the West Australian.
Many of those evicted from the building itself are now being charged a $100 a week to camp in tents pitched outside.
Owner Bruce Clark admitted there were 151 backpackers staying at the hostel last Monday and that numbers peaked at 180 at the height of the fruit-picking season.
“These people have to go somewhere,” Mr Clark said.
Hostels have maximum capacity limits for a reason. Fire safety, space limitations, and inadequate shower and toilet facilities are all valid concerns.
Is it okay to overbook your hostel? How much would you be willing to push over your maximum limit if the demand was banging down your door? 1 guest over capacity? 10 guests over capacity? 70 guests over capacity? where do you draw the line?
Is Mr. Clark actually doing a good deed for these backpackers? Is he right that they need somewhere to go, even if it’s not ideal? What would you do with the extra guests if you were in his shoes?