was started in a small backpacker hostel in the heart of the
Swiss Alps, after many years of receiving positive comments
about other great hostels and backpacker hostels throughout
recording more than 150 hostels, contacting them and keeping
in regular touch, Robyn and Bertrand Kohli, owners of the Swiss
Alps Retreat in Gryon, decided in the spring of 1998 to launch
an automated website containing a comprehensive list of backpacker-recommended
visited about 40 of those hostels in 9 different countries
of the same year, and by May 2001, as part of their direct
marketing strategy, sent out 7 travelers as representatives
to 12 countries and covered over 120 hostels.
then, the website has rapidly grown into one of the most popular
and trusted websites for travelers on a budget heading for Europe.
BackpackingEurope.com is also a comprehensive database, hostel
address listing and graphic poster, all created by the traveler
for the traveler.
believe the traveler has a right to know of all hostel style
beds available to him/her in any given town or city. Our "Hostel
Address Listing" is an example of that. The website on
the other hand, covers hostels recommended by other travelers.
primary goal for BackpackingEurope.com is to provide the backpacker
with a website that includes all the necessary information on
the best and most recommended backpacking hostel in Europe.
It has been designed in such a way that it is user-friendly
and provides different types of hostels for different tastes
and different people. The site also enables the traveler to
give feedback about their experiences, making the website very
backpacker then travels to hostels where other backpacker, are
likely to be staying, which creates a network through out Europe,
for travelers to follow.
As they do go from hostel to hostel as listed, they soon see
that these hostels are full of backpacker like themselves, which
is half the reason they travel
., to meet fellow
domain names are fast becoming household names like the travel
guide books have become. Word of mouth has started to happen,
just like it did in the days when Let's Go and Lonely Planet
forged their market.
is there purely for the traveler, as our number one concern.
The website is automated so the hostel owner can keep the most
relevant info in front of the traveler, we are also making the
site more interactive for the travelers themselves.
Backpackers do need to know where to start a trip, what to see,
where to stay and go
, and other traveler
comments are very valuable as proven on our Guest Book page.
By networking for the traveler, in fact our bonus is, that we
as hostel owners and operators have also come together as a
with the market trends is vital. We monitor the website daily
to keep it free of unrelated information. We contact hostel
owners twice yearly to prompt them for their updated hostel
info. Our future lies not only with networking travelers and
hostels, but also travel related products and services. A little
one stop shopping, for ease of convenience.
recognize the importance of overseas travel in the education
of today's student therefore our main aim is at direct marketing
to Universities and study abroad programs worldwide.
We also realize that most students are on a very limited budget.
All of our hostels offer extremely high-quality accommodation
at very reasonable rates (US $6.00 - $25.00)
Our website is a not-for-profit service that is free to the
student/traveler/backpacker traveler. Having the sort of information
at hand that BackpackingEurope.com offers is vital in planning
a trouble free trip. We understand time versus money, so the
more accurate the info available to would be travelers in their
planning stages of a European vacation is our primary concern.
"Hostel Address Listing", available for printing directly
off our website has been the most usable listing since its creation
at the same time as the first poster in 1998. We constantly
refer to the details of hostels on the listing both for mailing
hostel brochures to other hostels and for daily recommendations,
plus phone calls for reservations as a free service to our guests
traveling on to new destinations. Travelers simply fold the
3 pages and take this listing as a supplement to their guide
the "home" of BackpackingEurope.com operates out of
a Backpacker Hostel, then one can be sure the information available
on this listing is a as close to 100 % accurate at all times,
above any other kind of info available in the same field.
business cards are another useful promotion as well. The small
block sticks to any surface and we recommend on the lower
right hand corner of a computer monitor. These serve as the
handy "note papers" all travelers need while on
the net, the front side being a handy reminder of the best
travel info site on the web. The same printed ad for BackpackingEurope.com
remains long after the last card is taken, as the back card
is printed as well.
BackpackingEurope.com produces a large-scale graphic Poster
promoting backpacker hostels around Europe. As we believe that
direct marketing is a source of survival, these posters are
then distributed to major Universities around the globe.
automated site has many user-friendly features. Firstly, all
detailed hostel information is literally 2 clicks away from
any area of the site from start to finish. Navigation is of
the simplest form.
guest book entries prove real people use the site, and with
many other interactive features, keeps the site personal. All
emails to info@BackpackingEurope.com are answered personally
as well. Listed hostels have a backoffice address, user name
and password and are able to change and personalize their details
within their own page on the site, keeping info available to
site visitors as updated as can be.
statistics show that we now have 25.000 travellers viewing the
entire site monthly, and our site ranks high with major search
engines, such as Yahoo.com and Google.com. With our strong Internet
marketing, we predict an increase of visitors to the site in
believe direct marketing to be a strong source of survival.
While we all do brochure exchange between each other hostels,
this is direct marketing; we feel that this can be extended
Many more backpacker hostels are being developed in Europe and
while we all try to circulate the same customer more and more
times, we have to remember that they can only stay in so many
hostels in so many countries within their chosen travel time,
be it the 2 weeks or 2 months that we witness.
aim with the required help of all those in Backpacking Europe
is to Direct Market ourselves as a group to Universities throughout
the USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Asia. Other countries can
be added to this list as we grow and become more financially
directly marketing Backpacking Europe to the Universities abroad,
we also have the opportunity to market to the exchange Universities
within Europe. This targets our potential client much more directly.
By marketing directly into the countries that they come from,
this means they can then use a site like Backpacking Europe
to plan their trip. It also means that the next generation of
potential travelers coming up through the Universities will
also see the advertising and this is when Backpacking Europe
will become a known household name. We do not believe it is
possible to market ourselves individually with the Universities,
therefore as a group our existence is much stronger.
Backpacking Europe from each hostel's website also gives more
exposure as an individual hostel, which keeps both sites available
to our customers without being lost in the jungle of the World
Wide Web. Hostel or travel related info should be as freely
available to travelers as we make Backpacking Europe.com.
backpacker hostels want to be found it pays to link freely for
exposure within the travel scene.
Now we also realize that many hostels rarely need more customers
during the summer, as we all seem to be busy enough. However,
having been in business ourselves for 10 yrs, we personally
have weathered the highs and lows of economies with recessions
and all manner of other hindrances within the world.
the World Trade Centre issue still fresh and a small shell shock
reaction that has risen and could continue next season, direct
marketing exposes itself as even a stronger reason to be achieved.
As discussed at the Independent Hostel Conference in Bruges
in October 2001, our industry will more than likely be the quickest
to recover within the entire travel industry. With that in mind,
it gives us no excuse to sit on our laurels and expect business
to remain as usual.
travelers tend to have less fears and when being laid off work
or getting to the end of a schooling year, will most likely
travel anyway. Our aim is to target them directly so that they
are already aware of what is available to them once they get
to Europe. It takes some of the guess work out of their travels,
and once they get into the network of where we all advertise
between each other, our brochures are starting to look familiar.
To attract more business in the quieter seasons, that is then
a direct marketing approach that hostel owners can apply to
guests during the summer, encouraging them to come back for
whatever reasons they believe they can offer the traveler as
an attractive incentive. These strategies are purely up to the
hostel owner and at their own discretion, there of course is
no obligation what so ever, but certainly it shows you the difference
of how we as a group can get more travelers to Europe and how
we as individuals can get more travelers to our own hostels.
This keeps our individuality and our independence.
Backpacking Europe is being marketed daily within the World
Wide Web it still needs to be marketed directly to our potential
clients in the form of tear away business cards, posters and
a listing / guide book format. Something they can see, something
they can take with them and available to them at all times with
the web address prominently displayed so that they can go on-line
and get more details of each hostel and other travel info. Areas
where the site can be improved are directions to each hostel
and interactive maps.
Financial donations, Marketing Ideas etc.