Here in Scotland the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) has traditionally owned its hostels and has built up a significant property portfolio/central office to manage and market them. The independent sector only really got going from the 1980s and for most of the time since then the SYHA and independent sector have seen each other as competitors. The SYHA, a charity, has a large central office and staff, plus some volunteer assistance. In recent years the SYHA has been selling its own hostels, while adding privately owned and operated affiliate hostels. It is my dream to see the whole sector in Scotland working together to promote hostelling. Interested in how it works in other countries. I've hostelled in Norway where virtually all the hostels in the national HI network seemed to be privately owned/operated and I've heard that it works in a similar way in other Scandinavian countries.
How does it work where you are?