It’s a busy time for us here at Saddle Mountain Hostel as we prepare to reopen on 27th August and also participate in the “Support Our Hostels” campaign.
At the moment the reality is that it’s hard to be a hostel. Reopening hostels safely to take account of the Scottish Government and tourism sector guidance means that communal facilities in many hostels are not available or are severely restricted. It is also not possible to allow people from more than one household to share a bedroom.
In our case we are reopening on a room only basis. The physical distancing requirements and the additional cleaning and disinfection that would be required after each use means we do not believe it is possible for us to operate our communal facilities safely. It’s not how we want to run Saddle Mountain Hostel but we completely understand the public health reasons and we take our responsibilities towards the safety and wellbeing of our guests and our community seriously.
All of this creates a very difficult operating environment for all hostels but we are not taking the situation lying down. We strongly believe that we should do something about it. As one of the 86 members of the marketing organisation Scottish Independent Hostels (SIH) and the 97 Scottish members of Independent Hostels UK we are actively involved in the “Support Our Hostels” campaign.
SIH is lobbying the Scottish Government to make them aware of the challenges facing hostels and to make the case for further financial support. Sadly, without it a recent survey of SIH members has suggested that a third of its hostels may not survive until Spring 2021. We’re fortunate to not be in that position ourselves but it shows how an unprecedented situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic can overwhelm a small business.
For us and our fellow hostels in Scotland your support is vital. We know that there is a loyal hostelling community out there. As part of the “Support Our Hostels” campaign we’re asking you to consider coming back to stay at a hostel. We know it won’t be like it used to be for a while yet but we will be doing everything we can to make you welcome.
You don’t know how pleased we will be to see you again after being closed for over 5 months.