The Inaugural STAY WYSE Conference 2016, Amsterdam
If you guys didn’t notice (I don’t know how you missed it!) I was back in Amsterdam last month, not only to work with MEININGER Amsterdam Hotel City West and ClinkNOORD, but also to take part in the very first STAY WYSE Conference!
What is STAY WYSE?
If you haven’t heard of STAY (Safe Travel Accommodation for Youth) WYSE, don’t worry, I’m about to fill you in…
In the simplest terms, they are a not-for-profit association with the aim to represent the entire global youth travel accommodation sector, one of the travel industry’s fastest growing niche markets.
And a huge part of this is of course… representing hostels! So I was there. Of course.
Just click the banner below to see all STAY WYSE accommodation reviews I’ve written!
What did we get up to?
Well I’ll be honest, when trying to figure out how to provide the best accommodation and hostels for travellers (i.e. you guys!) well, we talk about you guys a lot.
This means a lot of stats and basically, just trying to figure out what you want!
Why do we do this?
— Laurie Wooden (@laurie_wooden) January 28, 2016
So I have a question for you all.
What factors make the perfect hostel for you?!
It would be great if you could answer this in the comments!
Between over 200 of us in the industry, technology emerged as a key drive for the future of hostels, as well as (as always) keeping the perception of hostels worldwide positive. Especially with the growth of hostels in the US – they seem keen to learn from the fantastic selection of hostels we have here in Europe!
But we had a whole panel and programme of researchers and hostel owners trying to answer this question. So I figured why not just ask you guys directly!
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) January 28, 2016
And talking of the panel by the way, there were some pretty cool hostel chains represented on stage! I’m sure you’ve heard of them before so, from left to right we had:
Spying on Hostels!
One of the great benefits of working in the hostel industry is getting some sneak previews into a wide range of hostels – which I then use to figure out which ones you guys would like most!
So let’s start with Generator Amsterdam! Set to open in the Spring of this year, the new Generator Amsterdam is a renovation on a Dutch building in the heart of Oosterpark that was originally built way back in 1917!
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) February 1, 2016
None of the dormitory rooms are bigger than 4-bed rooms and their main common area is a renovated auditorium which will be super cool when it’s finally open!
Other hostels that opened their doors at the end of the Conference were MEININGER Amsterdam City West (which I’ve shown you in depth in this video!), the Flying Pig Hostels, and St. Christophers, Winston Inn where our closing night drinks were held…!
One of my favourite things about the STAY WYSE Conference was the commitment to not only providing a business conference for the hostel industry, but also to promoting Amsterdam, home to the World Youth, Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation!
Exploring Amsterdam with Sandemans New Europe Tours
Sandemans New Europe Tours are available in 18 European cities (two of which I’ve previously written about) and their free tours are a great way to get to know a city – as delegates of the STAY WYSE Conference found out with free guided tours both before and after the conference.
Their guides are always fantastic, and our guide Joe was no different. With plenty of enthusiasm for Amsterdam, and plenty more jokes about Amsterdam, he gave a fantastic whistle-stop tour of some of the city’s most iconic districts and buildings!
Exploring Amsterdam with the Canal Company
With the largest fleet of canal boats in Amsterdam, the Canal Company were kind enough to offer their Hop on Hop off tickets free of charge to delegates wanting to explore the city from the banks o which it was built – it’s famous canals!
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) February 1, 2016
On top of this they also provided a beautiful candlelit tour from the conference location to ClinkNOORD, the location of our first-night after party. Both on board the candlelit tour and the day Hop on Hop off, the staff at the Canal Company are not only truly knowledgable about Amsterdam, but are so friendly!
And I’ll admit, I’m not usually a huge fan of Hop on Hop off services as I love walking a new city. But I think my recent cruise may have changed my mind on that one…!
Why this matters to you, my awesome readers:
Well for starters, the first STAY WYSE Conference was the first of it’s kind to not only offer a whole day of scheduled business appointments between hostels and booking services – but also between bloggers and hostels.
But more importantly…
That means your experience. And not just in Europe – but also in the US, Singapore, Canada and more!
So hold on to your seats guys because hostels are taking it to the next level.
Lots of love,
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) February 2, 2016