Questions for YHA NZ about Opotere hostelPosted: July 15, 2017
Young people are becoming more urbanised and are increasingly turning to indoor activities; yet YHA surely has a duty to promote the outdoor life?
YHA is committed to promoting the outdoor life and this can be seen on our website and via our marketing campaigns. YHA has a strong relationship with the Department of Conservation and promotes its Great Walks to members. It also partners with Te Araroa which is the walking trail that runs the length of New Zealand. There are a number of hostels such as YHA Te Anau, YHA Mt Cook, and YHA Arthur’s Pass which are close to these walks and trails and which are especially promoted. However, it is also YHA’s duty to provide the accommodation and travel experiences that our members expect, be it urban or rural, hence the provision in recent years of free Wi-Fi in hostels.
Given YHA’s commitment to environmental sustainability, shouldn’t you retain the hostels in rural areas such as YHA Opoutere?
YHA works hard to educate young travelers and school groups about the environmental sustainability initiatives introduced at larger hostels such as YHA Franz Josef, YHA Rotorua and YHA Wellington. This includes heat recovery technology, solar hot water, solar photovoltaic and geothermal energy. This is not possible at YHA Opoutere due to low occupancy and location. Furthermore, all of our hostels promote environmental sustainability with many of them, including many Associate Partner hostels, operating either inside or in close proximity to National Parks. YHA Opoutere is not unique in its rural location.
These questions/answers raise another broader question for me. I’ve not been involved at all in the discussion about the possible closure of Opoutere so this might be viewed as an outside perspective, but hopefully useful.
What is the larger picture of hostels in New Zealand in regards to these two questions? How well is ‘the outdoor life’ promoted through the rather large hostel presence outside YHA? Are these questions arising out of a perceived difference in the importance and practice of YHA in comparison to this larger hostel presence?
Similarly, what commitment to ‘environmental sustainability’ is evident in the hostel community outside YHA? Are these questions arising out of a perceived difference in the importance and practice of YHA in comparison to this larger hostel network?