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NEWSLETTER

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MARCH 2011

U K S E T T O S C R A P S TA R RATINGS IN FAVOUR OF USER REVIEWS

CONGRATULATIONS TO VILLA SONNENHOF For the second year running, STAY WYSE member Villa Sonnenhof was awarded the prize of top hostel in Switzerland based on the reviews from Hostelworld.com based on your reviews in 2010. The Hoscar (Hostelworld.com Customers Annual Ratings) Awards now in their 9th year, recognise top hostels around the globe. Hosted by one of the UK & Ireland’s most popular TV presenter’s Craig Doyle, the 2011 Hoscars took place in London on 4th February and was the biggest awards ceremony to date, attended by 500 guests.

YHA BUILDINGS‘ STILL STANDING’ IN CHRISTCHURCH Returning belongings to guests will be the first priority for YHA New Zealand once staff are permitted to re-enter its Christchurch properties following last week’s devastating earthquake, manager – marketing and sales Daniel Shields has said.!! Staff have been unable to return to the City Central hostel on Manchester Street and the Rolleston House property on Worcester Boulevard due to a civil defence cordon around the city which has impeded the hostel chain from releasing a re-opening date. Shields said the re-opening of the hostels would depend on the state of the buildings, surrounding structures and the CBD in general. “We know that both buildings are still standing,” he said. He added: “Once the buildings are inspected and deemed fit to enter our first task will be to gather all guest luggage and effects from around the hostel and begin the process of trying to get this back to owners.” Source:http://bit.ly/gowACq

STAR Ratings Australia may have stopped grading backpacker accommodation, but the UK is set to go a step further and drop star ratings altogether.! !The Government’s tourism strategy, due out shortly, is expected to recommend phasing out the official star rating system for hotels in favour of user reviews online. Tourism minister John Penrose Said: “The current official ratings systems are too often unreliable and unfair not only for the industry but for the consumer too. So we will encourage any rating schemes or customer websites that improve the quality of information which visitors can use to choose the right holiday for them, so they make informed choices rather than discovering problems when it is too late.” Source: http://bit.ly/eTPgLr

HI LAUNCHES REFRESHED SITE Hostelling International (HI) has launched a new and improved version of hihostels.com. The website has been refreshed to reflect HI’s new brand image and it also includes some additional features, as well as improved usability. HI’s new brand image has a contemporary look, using black and orange colours with the marketing strap lines: ‘Discover the real hostel experience’ and ‘Say HI to the world’. This new brand image is in steady progress being used in all H I ’s m a r k e t i n g a n d communications, both online and for printed materials.

Pssst ;-)

There are not any major changes to the booking engine and the functionality on the website, but the “look and feel” is brand new. The homepage has become more attractive, customer ratings and reviews are given more attention, and tab navigation has been introduced on the hostel pages.

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