Hostelworld.com is the world’s number one hostel booking website. The flagship brand of parent company Web Reservations International (WRI), the site was launched in 1999 when a hostel owner and IT entrepreneur identified a niche in the market to introduce online bookings into hostels. Prior to 1999 no technology solution existed which enabled customers to make, and hostels to take secure confirmed payments via the internet. The company went from strength to strength and has gone on to become the leading provider of online reservations for the budget, independent and youth travel market. Its optimal business model and the use of best of breed technology enable the company to profitably distribute low cost product.
Initially focusing its business on independent and official youth hostels, the site now features campsites, self catering accommodation, B&B’s and budget hotels and currently lists over 24,000 properties in more than 180 countries. The site is available in 23 languages and offers multi currency billing. Furthermore Hostelworld.com operates an affiliate program and has successful relationships with over 3,500 distribution partners, including many of the world’s leading brands such as Lonely Planet, Ryanair.com and Travelsupermarket.com amongst many others.
Hostelworld.com has been first to market with a number of innovations. It was the first hostel-booking website to develop a travel social network which launched in November 2006. It also has the largest number of customer ratings and reviews and has seamlessly integrated video, podcasting and guides into the site. 2009 also marked a first for Hostelworld.com when Travel Services was launched, an online travel store where customers can avail of great offers and exclusive discounts across the globe when buying travel insurance, guidebooks, mobile SIM cards and more.