Yes - I was surprised to find out the changes (announced along with the
arrival of my replacement handbook)
I've always been happy to pay the yearly sub, whatever the use I make of the
YHA during the year. As I lead a small group of workmates, via a group
membership to introduce kids etc to the advantages of hostelling, I don't
really need the individual one - but for he price I'm happy to support the
organisation in its work.
However this has served to show up one main problem, which is lack of
availability of spare bedplaces at busy times of the year. Perversely it's
been easier with a group as some hostels cater specifically for them, rather
than individuals (Pen-y-Pass for example) as long as hordes of schoolkids
aren't minded too much!
My initial reaction on reading about the changes was - great, more people
get to use the hostels, but what happens when I (as a bona fide member) try
to book in - do I get preference etc.
OK if I prebook, I suspect, but might be a problem if I turn up on spec.
I suppose the main advantage a member will get is the membership book, and
details of the hostels & locations. The discounts are useful, but some of
the other benefits are getting a little fanciful (YHA credit card anyone?)
Of course the hostel info is available via the YHA website, but unless you
are specifically looking for the information I suspect the website wouldn't
The hostels these days are often better than good B&B/small hotels - I even
stayed at Oxford with en-suite bathroom and a TV for the room!
In making this change I can see the YHA trying to keep the occupied
beds/night figures up, and lets face it they're still recovering from the
loss of income following the Foot & Mouth a few years back - a few hostels
were sold then as a result of the loss of income.
There's nothing about the changes on the YHA site, but there is a 5 year
plan which includes: reach more people ; increase Youth Hostel use from 2.1
million to 3 million overnights ; increase membership from 300,000 to
More importantly there's no discussion on there on this particular topic,
which I think is one of the more important changes to the YHA organisation
in the past 10 years or so.
I've dropped a note to the YHA about their lack of communication on this -
let u know what happens
"Peewiglet" <[email protected]
> wrote in message
> On Tue, 4 Jan 2005 12:09:10 -0000, "Kenneth Miles"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> >>> A friend who has YHA membership tells me that from March non members
> >>> stay for an extra £3 supplement without having to join. (In case it
> >>> interests anyone).
> I've rung the YHA National Office, and they confirmed that it's
> I therefore asked if they could tell me whether there would still be
> any point in people continuing to join the organisation, and I was
> told that the staff have not yet been currently briefed on the
> situation, and that the YHA are currently collating feedback and info.
> However, members would continue to receive a handbook, whereas
> non-members wouldn't... hmm...
> I agreed to leave my membership details and feedback: apparently
> they'll get back to people in due course. I got the impression that
> they'd had quite a lot of calls
> Best wishes,
> / \ / \