Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Online Petition: What is a Hostel?

Everyday I get an email from Google Alerts about what is new on the Internet about hostels. The alert usually contains about 6-9 links to web pages in India or Pakistan talking about school dormitories. The rest of the links are usually of interest to me, because they contain new information about what is going on in the hostelling/backpacking world. So, from this view the word "hostel" can have several meanings. Most dictionaries include multiple definitions that encompass these, but usually they are dry interpretations that don't convey the social aspect of hostels. An example from the Oxford English Dictionary is
1 an establishment which provides cheap food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, etc.
2 an inn providing accommodation.
HostelWorld has created a petition to rectify this, choosing to promote the following definition:
Budget, fun, sociable accommodation for people of all ages

I whole-heartedly agree with this and have signed the petition here. I urge you to do the same.


Anonymous said...

See also the long discussion by hostel managers about it here. I don't think Hostelworld's definition will make it past the dictionary editors because it's too vague. I think for a hostel to be a hostel it has to offer dorm accommodation. Otherwise the word isn't very descriptive.

Chris said...

I think you're right, this is really more of a marketing slogan than a definition.

Hostelsclub.com said...

Hello Chris, my name is Johann and I take care of the Marketing operations at HostelsClub.com a market leader hostel booking engine based in Venice, Italy, partner of TUIfly and Germanwings; since I see you are interested in what is new on the internet about Hostels, I thought I may alert of this promotion we recently launched here at HostelsClub:1$=1€ European Hostels Offer ; I hope this is something that can interest you; feel free to contact me at any time at johann@hostelsclub.com, we can also discuss more about it over the phone; congratulations for your blog btw! Best Regards and I hope to here for you soon! Ps sorry about the two previous deleted posts, that was an old project/account of mine ;)