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Swiss Youth Hostels

For more than 90 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 encounters 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.

Our mission statement

Promoting responsible and sustainable action is an important objective for the Swiss Youth Hostels. Already back in 1994, the Swiss Youth Hostels created a mission statement for balancing its economic, social and ecological activities.

  • 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.

  • wellnessHostel4000

  • Richterswil Youth Hostel

Our network strategy

The network strategy pursued by the Swiss Youth Hostels aims at the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive network in attractive tourist areas and destinations in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

The network is divided into A, B and C locations. These are not defined by the youth hostels themselves but rather by the destinations in which the hostels operate, in line with their range of services and their marketing attractiveness.

Our sustainability strategy

The 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.

  • Economy

    Although we are a non-profit organisation, the services offered by the youth hostels are designed in such a way that sufficient revenue remains to provide continuity for employees and further development potential for the organisation.

  • Ecology

    For all activities of the Swiss Youth Hostels, be they new constructions or renovation work, the renewal of the vehicle fleet, the determination of sourcing partners, the approach to IT support, etc., the subsequent energy consumption and any resulting emissions serve as fundamentally important indicators. We attach great importance to following as well as setting principles of sustainability – also along the value-creation chain.

  • Social aspects

    Our prices are set to ensure that services remain affordable whilst guaranteeing good quality and fair wages. Barrier-free products and services are a matter of importance to enable everyone to stay at a youth hostel. For construction measures, consideration is given not only to energy consumption, comfort and the environmental compatibility of the materials used, but also, and to a major extent, to the potentially diverse consequences for local residents.

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:

  • Special award for our long-standing commitment and achievements towards environmental and climate protection, received on 12 January 2016.
  • Second place in the Green Accommodation Initiative at the Global Youth Travel Awards 2016.
  • 2015: The wellnessHostel4000 received third place in the wood-based award in the central Switzerland category.
  • 2013: Basel Youth Hostel received the Good Building Award from the cantons of Basel-City and Basel-Landschaft.
  • 2012: Special award for the renovation and extension of the St. Moritz Youth Hostel.
  • In 2011, SYH received the ZKB Sustainability Award for SMEs. This award takes economic, environmental and social aspects into consideration.
  • 2010: Award for the best integration of CO2 compensation.
  • 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’.