Those who usually stay in hostels may be interested in learning about an international campaign that aims to help save the hostel industry from the devastating financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Backpackers in a roof garden at Abraham Hostels
An international campaign aims to help save the hostel industry © Adopt a Hostel

According to the "Adopt a Hostel" campaign, thousands of hostels have been forced to close their doors without knowing when - or if - they will be able to re-open them. The campaign is calling on travellers to purchase a virtual gift card for a future stay, or donate to a hostel of their choice. Over 200 hostels from around the world have joined the campaign, and many more are expected to follow in a move that could help save the sector from collapse.

“Having spent the last 10 years visiting and blogging about almost 500 hostels, I can’t imagine the travel industry without them," says travel blogger Kash Bhattacharya from the Budget Traveller. He has joined with consulting agency, hostel.consulting, and marketing agency, Stay the Night, to launch the "Adopt a Hostel" campaign, with support from online booking platform, Hostelworld.

Two backpackers talking to one another in a capsule hostel
Thousands of hostels have been forced to close their doors © Adopt a Hostel

"Hostels are such a huge part of so many travellers' identities, and have shaped lives in so many different ways," Kash continues. "The inspiration for ‘Adopt a Hostel’ came to us after seeing two independent hostels - The Beehive and 7 Fells – asking their past guests to help them through the crisis by buying a voucher. Seeing the passionate response to their idea made me think of the number of travellers out there who have an emotional connection to hostels and would like to give back and show their support by ‘adopting a hostel.’”

Backpackers in a communal lounge at a hostel
People can buy vouchers for a future stay at a hostel © Adopt a Hostel

You can purchase a gift card or donate to a hostel through "Adopt a Hostel's" website here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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