YHA New Zealand closes all hostels after 90 years

Youth Hostels International NZ

The Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand (YHA) will close all eleven of its hostels starting December 15, after 89 years of hosting young backpackers.

The New Zealand branch of Hostelling International said it has no other option than to permanently close the doors of its 11 hostels it manages directly.

The closure will only affect YHA directly operated hostels, with 23 other partner hostels continuing to operate independently.

The hostels that should close are located in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Lake Tekapo, Aoraki Mt Cook, Wanaka, Queenstown Central, Queenstown Lakefront, Franz Josef and Te Anau

The company was able to double domestic overnight stays during the pandemic with a significant shift towards domestic travelers and low-cost family groups. However, that wasn’t enough to make up for the loss of international backpackers for nearly two years. The YHA National Board affirmed that the balance was not positive for the period of the pandemic.

After 19 months of severe renovation and facing the prospect of another summer without international tourists, the YHA will not reopen in 2022.

Affected staff and customers have been informed that all remaining hostels will close.

Closing comes the day before the Auckland travel border opens.

90 years after the first New Zealand hostels opened in Canterbury in 1932, New Zealand has become an iconic place for backpacking, welcoming travelers and backpackers from all over the world.

In 2019 YHA was New Zealand’s largest backpacker accommodation network with over 30 hostels nationwide. The most recent of which was Lake Tekapo YHA.

Also private hostels closed for the Covid.
In 2019 in New Zealand was operating  385 Hostels with 27,000-plus beds it had pre-pandemic, today there are only 187 with about 13,000 beds.

“Unfortunately, the Covid 19 pandemic has lasted too long for us to overcome it. Today is a sad day for tourism in New Zealand.”
We hope that soon we will be able to travel to New Zealand with backpacks and sleep in historic places such as the hostels of the Hostelling International chain.

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