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Financial Year 2022

Finally back to “normality”, which fortunately also applied to the Swiss Youth Hostels. The year 2022 brought our personal freedom of movement back to all of us, as well as the required stability to our organisation. We are happy to be able to report on many enjoyable experiences again, after two difficult years.

Burgdorf Castle Youth Hostel

Dear Readers

Following the lifting of the pandemic-related bans on school and group trips, as well as generally speaking on international travel restrictions, the Swiss Youth Hostels were once again able to achieve a positive annual result in 2022 after two extremely challenging years.

In 2022, the return of the schools, groups and international guests alike ensured that the number of overnight stays once again increased. Overnight stays increased to 751,722. They were thus 32.9% above the prior year (565,433) and 2.1% above the level before the pandemic (2019). The share of Swiss guests dropped to 78.4% (prior year 87.8%), but remained around 8%-points above the figure before the pandemic. The youth hostels in Burgdorf, Laax and Schaan-Vaduz, which were new or reopened in 2020 and 2021, contributed substantially to the positive development compared with 2019.

In 2022, the network of the Swiss Youth Hostels consisted of 45 own and 6 franchise hostels. It was extended by two franchise operations:

Saignelégier Youth Hostel in the “Jura Sport & Spa Resort” opened its doors in April 2022. An excellent sports infrastructure that is seamlessly interconnected and unique in Switzerland awaits guests. In addition to the new youth hostel, the resort’s offer includes an ice rink, an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness, massages, fitness, sports facilities, seminar rooms, a hotel and a restaurant.

In July 2022, the third WellnessHostel in our network after Saas-Fee and Laax opened in the newly renovated historic Grand Hôtel in St-Luc in Valaisian Val d’Anniviers. Within the walls of the former Grand Hôtel du Cervin, the historic tradition of the hotel, which has been in operation since 1893, is combined with the modern, straightforward flair of the Swiss Youth Hostels. An in-house à-la-carte brasserie and a super modern publicly accessible wellness centre complement the versatile offer.

St-Luc WellnessHostel 

Engelberg Youth Hostel will now be run as a separate operation instead of as a franchise. The business was leased to the Swiss Youth Hostels by the Berghaus Engelberg Cooperative after the previous managers Petra and Fredy Liem handed over management after 18 years. In Sion, an extensive railway station superstructure is to be built instead of the youth hostel, which is why the town of Sion did not extend the expiring lease agreement and Sion Youth Hostel had to be closed at the end of 2022.

In 2022, the Swiss Youth Hostels focused on strengthening and developing their social commitment. In future, annual members will be able to enjoy attractive prices for young people between the ages of 13 and 17 years old, in the rooms of their parents or grandparents. These prices are in addition to the existing extremely attractive child rates for children up to 12 years old. In addition, favourable flat rates have been introduced for compulsory schools and baccalaureate schools. This enables the Swiss Youth Hostels to offer schools access to affordable accommodation and catering offers, thus promoting the organisation of school camps and project weeks, as well as supporting extracurricular learning and integration.

Balanced, sustainable, varied and attractively priced – these are the cornerstones of the Swiss Youth Hostels’ gastronomy, under the “Yoummi” label that we launched at the beginning of 2022. In the morning, guests can also opt for a complete gluten- or lactose-free breakfast. In addition, there are always vegan options. Breakfast is still included in the overnight rate. The basis of our three-course evening menu is always vegetarian and is in addition offered as a vegan version. There are also menu variations with Swiss meat. With our new three-course menu concept, we succeeded in further reducing our CO2 emissions by 40% on average in the catering area.

We are particularly proud of the renewed recognition of our sustainability efforts. At the Niesen Summit on 15 November 2022, we received the Special Prize for Sustainability, together with the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism. As the milestone which was first awarded in 2000 is no longer continued, the best award winners of the last 22 years were chosen at the Niesen Summit on 15 November 2022. The Swiss Youth Hostels came out on top with the “Milestone for Sustainability Strategy”, which they received in 2007.

Engelberg Youth Hostel

Reporting is mainly in digital format. A short print version provides a quick overview of important key data from the reporting year 2022 and refers interested parties to the detailed digital reporting. It offers interesting insights from the past financial year as well as an outlook to the future.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to all our employees, the honorary Executive Board members, the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, our members and benefactors as well as our partners for their wonderful support.

End of April 2023

Frank Reutlinger

Janine Bunte