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The Swiss Youth Hostels’ sustainability strategy is paying off May 27, 2011

Despite the difficult underlying conditions, the Swiss Youth Hostels organisation is able to look back on a successful year in its just published 2010 annual report. With 945,828 overnight stays, it almost succeeded in matching the previous year’s figure while increasing turnover by 1.4 per cent to CHF 41.1 million. With regard to sustainability, the Swiss Youth Hostels can also reveal an impressive result: CO2 emissions for space heating have been cut by 37.1 percent per square metre compared to 2000. The Delegate Assembly of the non-profit organisation is scheduled to take place in the newly renovated St. Moritz Youth Hostel on 18 June 2011. The Swiss Youth Hostels association has a membership of 104,663.

The inescapable underlying conditions were anything but positive for Swiss tourism in 2010. Poor winter weather despite the good snow conditions, a summer that failed to materialise, the tentative economic recovery and finally the strength of the Swiss franc or rather the weakness of the Euro and US dollar. The Swiss Youth Hostels are therefore all the more satisfied with the business performance. “Our strategy of systematic expansion of the Swiss Youth Hostel network and investment in the quality of our offering is paying dividends”, CEO Fredi Gmür is delighted to report.

New youth hostel in Interlaken from spring 2012

During the year gone by, the youth hostels in Basel and St. Moritz were reopened following extensive refurbishment. And in the spring of 2012, a new youth hostel is scheduled to open in Interlaken, adjacent to Interlaken Ost station. In addition, renovations and new construction work are planned in Bern, Figino and Saanen.

Successful implementation of the sustainability strategy

Swiss Youth Hostels see the commercial success as part of their sustainability strategy. “We can only ensure the long term security of the Swiss Youth Hostels organisation through systematic investment and maintaining our appeal to guests”, stresses Fredi Gmür. The Youth Hostels attach the utmost importance to bringing together the three sustainability dimensions “environmental concern”, “social commitment” and “commercial success”. Proof that the Swiss Youth Hostels are on the right course and are playing a pioneering role in the Swiss tourism sector is provided by the numerous awards received in recent years: most recently in January 2011 with the receipt of the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) sustainability prize.