|Title:||Issue Date: 23/04/01|
|Author:||Page Number: 24|
Consortium looks to fill gap in market with new budget brand
Report by JULIET DENNIS
A CONSORTIUM of Scottish businessmen are striving to bridge the gap between traditional youth hostels and budget hotels with the launch of their £20 million Euro Hostel Glasgow.
Undaunted by the strain of the foot and mouth outbreak on tourism, the owners opened the property just before Easter on the former site of Glasgow’s first custom-built hotel of the 1960s, the Royal Stuart Hotel.
They hope it will be the country’s first five-star-rated hostel offering a quality of accommodation and facilities not normally associated with UK hostels.
Over the next five years, backers, including Paul Murray-Smith, the former managing director of Scottish Highland Hotels, are planning another five properties in London, Edinburgh, York and possibly Manchester or Birmingham.
A total of 180 of the hostel’s 360 beds were booked up on the weekend before Easter and bookings were already said to be strong for the rest of the spring break.
Managers now want to increase bookings taken through agents, as well as on-line and over the phone, and promote the Euro Hostel brand.
A spokesman said: “The big challenge for us is to get people to see us differently. We are so unlike the common perception of a hostel. It feels more like a hotel. It’s modern and has a distinctive brand. We hope more agencies will come on board, especially those who deal with backpackers.”
Nearly all of the £13.75-a-night rooms are en suite with two bunk beds, although there are a few dormitorys for school groups and sports teams. The price includes breakfast. The hostel has a games room, canteen and rest room.
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