2009 saw a 12% increase in sales for ‘no frills’ accommodation, compared to a 61% increase in hotel closures, and an innovative new hostel company have been helping the owners of failing properties take advantage of this statistic. Having set up the World’s first branded hostel franchise earlier this year Journeys are now on the hunt for 15 new properties around the UK. So if you have a property in need of a change of direction then read on…
Journeys are one of the fastest growing hostel brands in the UK today. A ‘recession baby’ born during the downturn, the founders of the company spotted a gap in the market for ‘no frills’ accommodation and as a result began teaming up with owners of underperforming buildings to provide safe, reliable and affordable accommodation to traveller’s world-wide.
Journeys set up the World’s first branded hostel franchise last year and hope to emulate the success of food chain franchises such as Subway in the budget accommodation market.
The company now have rapid expansion plans, looking to add a further 15 properties in the next 6 months, and firmly believe that the hostel market is a long term investment. Where hostels were once seen as dark and dingy digs for travellers on a shoe string, modern hostels are stylish and vibrant and as the industry begins to shed its old image and travellers become more adventurous it is only set to expand. New technology is also helping bring hostelling up to date and many of Journeys hostels use specialised bunk beds that allow each visitor to have their own private pod.
With low start-up costs, low property prices, a fast growing backpacker market and a proven business model, Journey’s really have changed around the fortunes of those properties they’ve been involved with as the figures for their London Bridge Hostel shows.
“When we first converted the London Bridge property into a hostel we knew the time was right and the second year figures from that property show just how right it was. The property was almost worthless when we took it on, but in its second year of trading has turned over £630k, with a profit of £221k. The other properties are doing just as well and we’re now looking for a rapid expansion.” -Stephen Holland – CEO for Journeys.
Journeys are so confident in their model they are offering a money back guarantee if the business doesn’t work for you.
“If using our systems you fail to achieve a 70% occupancy level by the end of year one, we will return 100% of your franchise or if you wish you can leave the network without penalty”
So if you’ve got a property that could do with new life being breathed into it check out www.visitjourneys.com or call Journeys on (0)20 7231 4672