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Swiss Youth Hostels

Since almost 100 years, we have been the first choice for budget-conscious and environmentally aware travellers. We provide not only lasting holiday and leisure experiences, but also encounter with like-minded people, and are committed to sustainable tourism.

Discover our youth hostels – and the most beautiful places in Switzerland.

Facts & Figures

You can find the Swiss Youth Hostels business report here.
  • We strive

    • to promote quality-oriented, socially responsible and environmentally sound tourism for young people and families
    • to focus on human relations
    • to live up to the idea of partner-oriented thinking at all levels
    • to strengthen our image and standing as the most important tourist organisation for young people and families
    • to achieve appropriate business results in order to ensure the ongoing existence of our organisation
  • We bear a special responsibility towards our guests, since travel is of extreme emotional and material importance to them and is associated with a special need to feel confident, safe and secure. We wish to respond to the many and diverse expectations of our guests in a creative way. We treat our guests as people who have a zest for life and are enthusiastic, interested, contact-loving and ready to take the natural environment and their fellow travellers into consideration. We wish to respond to such qualities and promote such attitudes.

  • We are aware that all the employees of our organisation, which is based on personal performance and relationships, play a vital role and we make correspondingly high demands on them. We pursue a progressive employee policy, especially with regard to management style, working conditions, social security, equal opportunities, personal responsibility and career advancement.

  • We strive to build true partnerships with all persons, enterprises and institutions that are important to us. We consider close personal relationships and the mutual setting-out of fair conditions to be especially meaningful. We seek active co-operation with all of the key tourist organisations both at home and abroad. We promote both inter- and intra-organisational co-operation.

  • We are a politically and religiously neutral organisation and as such active in all areas of the country. We are aware that the local population and the natural environment in the areas in which we operate are crucially important both to us and to our guests. We wish to take the interests of the local population into account as much as possible, to respect their independence and culture, and to make every effort to minimise our impact on the environment. We operate environmentally friendly youth hostels and leisure activities that are geared to the protection of the countryside.

  • Our main aim is the maintenance of value-for-money services.Nevertheless, In spite of that, we wish to respond to increasing quality requirements. We wish to offer a demand-conscious, innovative programme of services for our guests which is attractive and offers real alternatives when compared to other forms of accommodation – in other words: to cultivate simplicity. We attach particular importance to transparent structures, personal management of our hostels and a pleasant atmosphere.

  • We stick strongly to the principle that performance is the best form of advertising. Nevertheless, we wish to conduct active marketing – marketing that is not loud or aggressive, but has its own style and soul. The information we provide should always be honest, believable and clear.

  • We wish to communicate our aims and convictions at all times and to keep the general public up to date about developments in our field of activities. We wish to maintain close personal relationships with the authorities, with both public and private institutions and with the media, to stand up for improvements in the most important basic conditions and to support meaningful leisure activity options.

  • We wish to consciously promote innovative thought and action at all levels within our organisation, since future opportunities in our fast-moving world can only be seized through new ideas. We support practice-oriented, critical research into tourism and view it as an important vehicle for information allowing us to formulate an integrated and forward-looking policy for the association.

  • In spite of our idealistic aims, we aim for commercial activities that maximise our commercial viability and thereby ensure the continued existence of our enterprise. We strive therefore to generate sufficient revenue, to maintain adequate liquidity, to build reserves and to foster a sound capital structure. For major investments such as new construction and renovation projects, however, we are reliant upon financial support from the public purse.

Our sustainability strategy

Swiss Youth Hostels are committed to sustainability. Sustainability is an integral part of our organisation philosophy when dealing with stakeholder groups, designing our products and ensuring environmental protection. We believe that sustainability means taking into account not only social and ethical issues, but also the sensible use of resources.

  • Social aspects

    – Our prices are set in a way that ensures that services will remain affordable, while still guaranteeing good quality and fair wages.
    – Our products and services are designed in such a way that allows anyone to stay at a youth hostel.
    – When constructing and running our youth hostels, we don’t just take the needs of our guests into account, we consider the consequences for our partners, neighbours and the locations, too.

  • Economy

    Swiss Youth Hostels is a non-profit organisation. Our services are designed in a way that allows us to generate enough revenue to ensure security for our employees and to nurture the development potential of our organisation.

  • Ecology

    – The results speak for themselves: the energy consumption and emissions resulting from all Swiss Youth Hostels’ activities – whether in construction, operations or sales – are truly groundbreaking.
    – We place great value on applying sustainability principles along the entire value chain.

Distinctions and awards

We feel greatly honoured to have received numerous different awards. Swiss Youth Hostels is happy and grateful for all of this recognition. You can view the most important awards here:

  • Niesen Summit
    2022: Special prize for the "Sustainability Strategy 2007" at the Niesen Summit.
  • 2021 ICOMOS Special Award as part of the «Historic Restaurant/Hotel of the Year» for the Youth Hostel Burgdorf Castle.
  • Audience Award 2021 Burgdorf Castle wins the Atuprix Public Prize, the award for Bernese building culture.
  • "Best of ibex fairstay 2021" Category: Highest total score
    In 2021, the Swiss Youth Hostels received two awards. The award for the best regional foundation went to Pontresina Youth Hostel and the highest score was achieved by Zurich Youth Hostel.
  • «Best of ibex fairstay 2020»
    Best of ibex fairstay 2020 goes to St. Moritz Youth Hostel. Thanks to its strong commitment to the responsible use of resources.
  • Special award for our long-standing commitment and achievements towards environmental and climate protection, received on 12 January 2016.
  • The list of the "Best Employers 2021" is based on a large-scale online access panel survey in which thousands of employees were questioned, as well as judgements generated via the websites of "Le Temps" and "Handelszeitung".
  • myclimate Award as a ‘pioneer for integrated climate protection in the hotel industry’.
  • Second place in the Green Accommodation Initiative at the Global Youth Travel Awards 2016.
  • Watt d'Or 2015
    On 8 January 2015, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy awarded us the Watt d’Or in the category ‘Buildings and Space’.
  • 2015: The wellnessHostel4000 received third place in the wood-based award in the central Switzerland category.
  • 2014: Awarded to the wellnessHostel4000. 2007: Milestone in Switzerland: tourism award for our sustainability strategy.
  • 2013: Basel Youth Hostel received the Good Building Award from the cantons of Basel-City and Basel-Landschaft.
  • Best Hostel 2013’ was awarded to Interlaken Youth Hostel. And as if that wasn’t enough: ‘Most Comfortable Hostel 2013’ also went to Interlaken.
  • 2012: Special award for the renovation and extension of the St. Moritz Youth Hostel.
  • 2012: The 50 best Swiss annual reports, winner of the NPO category.
  • In 2011, SYH received the ZKB Sustainability Award for SMEs. This award takes economic, environmental and social aspects into consideration.
  • Swiss Solar Prize 2011 in the area of personalities/institutions for comprehensive environmental management and a pioneering role in environmentally compatible tourism.
  • 2010: Award for the best integration of CO2 compensation.
  • Swissolar is the Swiss professional association for solar energy and represents the Swiss solar industry. The Swiss Youth Hostels have 20 solar hostels equipped with modules or collectors.
  • In 2008, Youth Hostel Zurich was singled out for its ‘successful conversion from the 1960s, as well as its outstanding corporate philosophy in social tourism’.