Hostelworld Group PLC

05 April 2022

Hostelworld Group launches 'The Solo System', a set of social features enabling opt-in travellers to connect and meet in real life

Inspired by its inherently social user base, the company's category-defining mobile app now powers meaningful social interactions across every step of the booking and travel journey

- 76% rate 'meeting people' as their top deciding factor when booking a hostel, and 77% look for other travellers to do activities with on trips

- Opt-in customers who've booked the same destination and hostel can now interact with other travellers through 'Chat', a social feature available within Hostelworld's new native app

   -       Users can 'See Who's Going' to be in a city and hostel when searching on the platform 

COPENHAGEN, 05 APRIL 2022: Hostelworld Group, the leading platform for hostel travel, today announces 'The Solo System', a set of social features enabling travellers to interact and connect with like-minded people. Users searching on Hostelworld can now find trending places with the 'See Who's Going' feature, and once a booking is made, they'll be able to 'Chat' to people visiting the same locations and view their 'Traveller Profiles'.

76% of Hostelworld's customers crave a social hostelling experience, but 30% say they are nervous about chatting to other people in hostels. Hostelworld has released a new native app with a 'Chat' functionality inspiring conversations and real life meet ups between travellers visiting the same cities and hostels, around the same time. Opt-in users will be given access to hostel chats, city chats and interest-based chats up to 14 days before their check-in date - they will also be able to send a direct message to other travellers, provided this has been enabled by users. The app is available in iOS now, with Android launching mid-April.

For solo travellers, who make an average of 10 new friends during a one-month trip, hostelling is all about the vibes. With the 'See Who's Going' feature, identifying trending places from the point of search will be easy. Both on the website and app, this feature shows prospective bookers how many people are going to be in a city (and hostel) around the same dates, including their nationalities.

Gary Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of Hostelworld Group, said the company is perfectly positioned to help hostellers meet people to hang out with while travelling. "We've always known that our customers choose to stay in hostels as a means to meet other people. By powering social connections through our platform before our customers even get to their destination, we are giving them an incredibly compelling reason to book with Hostelworld. We will continue to launch more social products in coming months including LinkUps, a feature that encourages travellers to create gatherings and social activities."

Hostelworld has also added personalisation within its ' Travellers' Profiles', which now offer the ability to display a profile photo, first name, nationality and where users have travelled. Only after customers have made a booking can they see other travellers' profile information.

With a majority (83%) audience share solo travelling at least one, and 24% taking 10+ solo trips, Hostelworld is launching its new social platform to customers as The Solo System. Designed 'For Solo Travellers and Beyond', this has been created to enhance the online experience, but only with the intention of encouraging real life meet ups and friendships.

The Solo System experience includes:

- 'See Who's Going' - check out who else is visiting a city and hostel on the dates you're searching, available on app and web

- 'Chat' - chat via the app to other travellers staying in the same hostel (and city) up to two weeks before your check-in date, and three days after you've checked-out

- 'Public Profiles' - see who other users are and where they've been, and chat to them via direct messages if they have enabled it

- 'LinkUps' (coming soon) - see what events and activities fellow travellers are planning and book in or create your own. Watch this space!

To participate in chats and social activity, all customers who've opted in need to keep their profile public and agree to abide by Hostelworld's community guidelines. Users must be 18 years or over to use 'Chat'.

Notes to editors:

Research conducted between 10 and 17 March, polling 3700 Hostelworld users.


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About Hostelworld Group

Hostelworld Group is the leading Online Travel Agent focused on the hostelling category, with a well-known trusted brand, 13.7M reviews and a loyal customer base built up over 22 years. Our core business provides our customers with hostel accommodation options in over 180 countries worldwide via our website and native app platforms in 19 languages, as well as hostel focused small group adventure trips ( Roamies ).

In parallel to helping millions of hostel focused travellers Meet The World, we are committed to building a better world in everything we do. In 2020 we became the first OTA signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI), led by the UN Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); and latterly became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in January 2022.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 05, 2022 02:01 ET (06:01 GMT)

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