Hostelling Scotland to temporarily close youth hostel network
The youth hostel at Rowardennan at the foot of Ben Lomond. Picture by Bill Heaney
By Democrat reporter
Following the latest Government guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Hostelling Scotland has today, 23 March 2020, announced the temporary closure of all 33 youth hostels within its network with immediate effect – and until further notice.
This includes the popular hostel at the foot of Ben Lomond in Rowardennan on Loch Lomondside.
Hostelling Scotland is a self-funding charitable organisation with 33 hostels located throughout Scotland, accommodating more than 340,000 guests every year, with a turnover of £9m and an estimated contribution to the Scottish visitor economy of £25m.
Their mission is to make more of Scotland more accessible to more people than anyone else, especially young people. Their aim is to provide great value, affordable, flexible and welcoming accommodation in the best locations the length and breadth of the country.
Margo Paterson, chief executive of Hostelling Scotland, said: “It is with great sadness that we have had to temporarily close our Youth Hostel network until further notice.
“However, the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and guests along with protecting the communities in which we all live and work is our utmost priority at this time.
“The current situation is difficult for everyone and if ever there was a time for communicating with mutual understanding, this is it.
“We will keep in touch with you through our monthly e-newsletters and social media channels.
“You’ll find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
“We really appreciate the hard work being carried out by all healthcare workers and those on the front line, looking after people and keeping us safe.
“Although our hostels are closing, we shall be talking with the NHS and other public services to see how best our hostels can support essential services.
“Thank you for your continued support of Hostelling Scotland. It gives heart and hope to hear messages of support and to know that so many people have plans to explore this beautiful country of ours and to stay in our Youth Hostels in the future.
“When we all start travelling again, we will be here for you and ready to provide the warm welcome you’ve come to expect from our organisation. Please stay well and look after one another.
“We look forward to welcoming you again very soon.”