Join the Independent Hostels network
Join the 320+ accommodation owners who benefit from IHUK’s support and marketing expertise for as little as £210 a year. We charge a simple annual flat rate, after which there is nothing more to pay and no commission.
Are you an accommodation owner looking to join the largest network of hostels in the UK? Well, you are in the right place! This page contains everything you need to know about the one-of-a-kind service we provide and the how being part of our network will benefit your accommodation.
Is your accommodation right for the network?
We welcome a variety of accommodation, but we especially love hostels, bunkhouses, camping barns and outdoor education/activity centres. To be part of our network your accommodation should have communal living areas and self-catering facilities (or a communal eating experience).
Why should your accommodation join our growing network of hostels, bunkhouses, and camping barns?
- Increased visibility: Your accommodation will reach a wide audience with an interest in outdoorsy accommodation.
- Increased organic trade: We won’t promise to fill your hostel overnight but we will provide a steady stream of guests who understand hostel-style accommodation and don’t cancel their bookings.
- Increased credibility: The Independent Hostels network is long established and highly respected within the industry. Being associated with our brand will enhance the reputation of your business.
- Support, community and collaboration: Membership in the network grants you access to targeted message boards, industry-specific news and one-to-one advice. Many members share resources and ideas with other hostels in the network.
- Shared Values: The Independent Hostels network is committed to promoting sustainability and responsible tourism practices. Joining the network allows you to showcase your values to potential guests.
- Direct bookings: We funnel all potential guests onto your own website, booking system and social media. This means you get direct bookings and don’t pay commission.
- Free use of the Clarity booking system: Based on years of feedback from hostel and bunkhouse owners, this is the ideal system for hostel-style accommodation looking for direct bookings.
What we can provide for your business?
- A feature in our iconic guidebook – The only publication of its kind and now in its 31st year, this is an iconic reference book with an ever-increasing fan base. The guidebook is sold in bookshops, online, and in places where your type of customers hang out such as climbing centres, bike hires and at our hostels.
- The Website – You will have a main online feature which pushes customers to your website, your online booking and your social media. In addition to this, your hostel will be promoted across the website on regional pages, seasonal pages, long distance trails and inspirational discovery pages!
- Integration with your chosen booking system– Our amazing website can read availability from most calendars and booking systems, so we can display your availability seamlessly and always provide you with direct bookings with no commission charged.
- Free Booking System specifically made for accommodation like you– The Clarity booking system is clear and easy to use. This fully functioning booking system can be mounted on your website. It takes bookings by the bed, by the room and for the exclusive use of the whole property, and never charges commission. If you don’t need a full booking system we also have a simple calendar that displays on your website and ours. If you are interested in embracing online availability but it sounds a bit complicated, we can help you decide what suits you best. We provide telephone support every step of the way.
- Inclusion in social media campaigns – We run social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter and via Newsletters covering all topics from dog friendly retreats to regional holiday hotspots. Your accommodation will appear on all the relevant promotions, and we provide you with an app which you can use to add an extra highlight to your accommodation on each promotion at no extra cost.
- Complete control over your marketing by posting directly onto our website – Accommodation in the network can use our app to post (at no extra cost) short up-to-the-minute messages that appear on our website and social media. This gives you great free exposure for your late availability, special offers, local events and other news
- Free sign – Show that you are part of a larger network by displaying our sign on your building
- Newsletters -We send out regular (but not annoying!) newsletters to our members filled with industry support and what campaigns we are about to run and how you can get involved
- Hostel owners’ community – we run a thriving closed Facebook group for hostel owners which is an amazing space to share resources, advice and support other hostels.
- Improved google rankings for your business – Thanks to our powerful website your own website will rise higher on the google rankings just because we link to it!
- Representation on a national level – Our business is regularly mentioned in national and regional publications such as The Guardian, The Ethical Consumer, and regional magazines. We are always looking for new ways to get our members exposure in traditional media.
- One to one support – We are in the office Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and are personally available to answer your questions and make amendments to your website feature via call or email. Ask for Penny for amendments to your feature and general questions, Sam to tap into 30 years’ worth of hostel and tech knowhow or Bronia for social media advice.
What sort of bookings to expect
- Amazing quality of guests: We prize ourselves on the quality of our guests. Bookings from Independent Hostels tend to be from people who understand hostel, bunkhouse and camping barn accommodation. Well-behaved guests with realistic expectations.
- Groups: UK-based groups love to find accommodation on our website. These range from family get-togethers and reunions to schools, universities, clubs, walking and cycling groups
- Individuals: We also generate bookings from outdoor enthusiasts, independent travellers and people doing the long-distance walks and cycling routes.
How the bookings will arrive
- Directly: Direct on your own booking system
- Enquiries: As enquiries from your own website or social media.
- Phone or email: Phone or email enquiries from our website or from our printed literature.
- Group enquiries: As batch emails from our group enquiry system
There is generally no indication that a booking has come via us as we push all customers directly to your website, booking system and social media and we do not take any commission. This is fine by us as long as you know we are always working, behind the scenes, to provide you with commission-free direct bookings.
What does it cost?
We have two price tiers. If you have lots of lovely photos that sell your accommodation, we recommend the second tier.
You can join at any point of the year, so what are you waiting for? Give us a call or email to enquire.
Contact us on: [email protected] or 01629 580427.