Hostel on to winning formula:
Wellington's YHA hostel has trounced the Aussies again, picking up the second top hostel award in a row.
As top-earning YHA hostel in New Zealand in a network of 51 hostels, the business formula that manager Chris Sperring has built up in his 10 years running the backpackers has rung true in one of the most competitive accommodation sectors.
Winning the top rating in Australia and New Zealand again just bolstered the consistent 90 per cent and over occupancy rates, more than 20 per cent above many hostels. The key was the people, Mr Sperring said.
With more than half the staff employed for more than three years, the knowledge and competency at the hostel had endured - not the norm in a typically transient industry.
Former travellers were the key employees, with the hostel's reputation earning Mr Sperring the privilege of receiving one new CV a day.
Having familiar faces and people they could relate to counted for a lot with travellers. Making that a consistent feature as one of three 300-plus bed hostels in the country with 85,000 guests a year was a challenge.