Hostelworld has launched the Solo System – a set of digital social features that helps travellers connect and meet in real life. Rose Dykins reports

Inspired by its inherently social user base, Hostelworld has created the Solo System, a number of features – including a mobile app – where guests can opt in to interact with fellow travellers at various stages of their booking and during their trip.

According to research from the online travel agent, 76 per cent of its customer base say that meeting people is the key deciding factor when booking a hostel and 77 per cent revealed they are on the look-out for other travellers to do activities with.

At the same time, 30 per cent say they are nervous about chatting to other people when they stay in hostels.

Now, Hostelworld customers who opt in for the Solo System service can see others that have booked the same hostel and destination as they have at around the same time via the “See Who’s Going” function, which is available on both the Hostelworld website and the app.

And, via the Solo System’s “Traveller Profiles” function, customers can learn more about fellow guests, with public profiles that show their name, photo, nationality and places they’ve travelled to.

Hostelworld Casa Gracia Barcelona roof terraceUsing the Solo System app’s chat function, users can get to know other travellers through hostel chats, city chats and interest-based chats 14 days prior to their check-in date and three days after they’ve checked out.

They can also send direct messages to travellers, as long as this function had been enabled by users. Users must also be 18 years or over to use the app’s Chat function, and they need to abide by Hostelworld’s community guidelines.

The Solo System app is available for iOS and is launching for Android in April 2023. Hostelworld will soon add “LinkUps” to the Solo System experience, where customers will be able to see which events and activities their fellow travellers are planning to try, or book in and create their own events for when they arrive in their destination.

The majority of Hostelworld’s audience (83 per cent) have taken at least one solo trip, while 24 per cent have taken more than ten solo adventures. The Solo System was created to enhance the online experience of these customers, while encouraging real life meet-ups and friendships.

Hostelworld Freeland LAGary Morrison, CEO of Hostelworld Group, says: “We’ve always known that our customers choose to stay in hostels as a means to meet other people. By powering social connections through our platform before our customers even get to their destination, we are giving them an incredibly compelling reason to book with Hostelworld. We will continue to launch more social products in coming months including LinkUps, a feature that encourages travellers to create gatherings and social activities.”

The leading online travel agent for hostelling, Hostelworld Group has amassed 13.7 million reviews during its 22 years of operation. It provides hostel accommodation options in more than 180 countries via its website and app platforms in 19 languages, as well as hostel-focused small group adventure trips called Roamies (in partnership with G Adventures).

In 2020, Hostelworld became the first online travel agent to sign the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI), led by the UN Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); and, in January 2022, it became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).