hostel conference

HostelSkills #3

Ljubljna, Slovenia

March, 2017



Speaker’s bio: Ana graduated in Tourism and Hospitality with a post graduation in Human Resources Management. She is a certified Revenue Management Executive (by HSMAI), with over 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Ana started in Hospitality as a phone operator, and worked her way up, having managed Front Desk and Reservation´s staff before getting into Revenue Management, which she did for over 6 years. She is in Cloudbeds for almost 3 years, where she developed the Customer Service Department as a Manager and a Director in the São Paulo office until she came to Ireland, where she is now doing Sales and Business Development.

What was discussed:

What was discussed:

  • History and basic concepts
  • Who can use it, how and when
  • Importance of accurate data
  • Most important KPIs to follow
  • Distribution (importance of the OTAs)
  • Dynamic pricing – how to make assertive decisions (rate plans; groups management; forecast; local market; occupancy market segments; pick up)
  • Rate fences – the benefits and dangers (concept of shoulder nights; restrictions – length of stay; payment; booking period)
  • Day-to-Day Applications (definition of your strategies; the importance of the front desk staff; intra-departmental information flow; upsell upgrade; walk-ins; incentive programs; analysis, review and change of strategy)
HOW TO GET ON TOP & STAY THERE – THE SOUL KITCHEN STORY, by Lyubov Sorokina&Sergei Sorokin, owners @Soul Kitchen Hostel, St. Petersburg

Speaker’s bio: Lyubov Sorokina graduated from State University of Finance and Economy in St Petersburg and holds a bachelor degree in Tourism and Services. While studying she also worked as a receptionist in several hostels. In April 2009, when she was 22, Lyubov opened the first Soul Kitchen hostel together with Sergey Sorokin and by next year Soul Kitchen received its first award from, as the best hostel in Russia. It was a small place with 28 beds near the train station. After opening a hostel, Lyubov and Sergey traveled a lot and visited over 100 hostels, from the most amazing to the worst ever and based on this experience they generated many great ideas that they were dreaming to realize. In 2012 they reopened the hostel in the new location where the space was much bigger and allowed to realize their new vision. Today Soul Kitchen features 85 beds, and it is located on beautiful Moika river. The same year it has won an award from as the Best New Hostel in Eastern Europe. Now Soul Kitchen Hostel regularly receives awards from popular travel websites. It was included in Top 10 hostels worldwide by in 2014 and has won multiple awards at the prestigious «Hoscars» by as #1 Hostel in Europe 2014, 2016 and 2017, #1 Small Hostel Worldwide and Most Secure hostel 2014, 2016 and 2017, Best Staff 2017, Best Facilities 2017.  Every year Soul Kitchen receives a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and keeps position #1 out of over 1200 properties of the same type on TripAdvisor’s page. It was included in Top 10 Hostels worldwide by 2015. Soul Kitchen hostel has been included in top 10 Luxury Hostels in Europe by The Guardian and 12 Incredible Hostels Every Traveler Should Visit In A Lifetime by The Huffington Post.

What was discussed:

  • Setting up the first hostel
  • Collecting knowledge, applying it, and growing
  • Soul Kitchen development strategies
  • How we do it – day to day activities, organisational issues, hiring staff, etc.
  • Dealing with guest complaints
ORGANIZED ACTIVITIES – EFFORT THAT PAYS OFF?, by Marco Bortoletto, book author; events director @Best Nights Barcelona

Speaker’s bio: For the last eight years, Marco has been working as event manager&organizer in a number of Barcelona hostels. In his leading position in Best Nights Barcelona, he is dedicated to studying the specific culture of each individual hostel, tailoring his offer and activities to the interests of everyone envolved in the hostel lifecycle: guests, receptionists, suppliers, hostel marketing, reservations department, etc. Marco is the author of a book on hostels, “Hostel Culture Developer”.

What was discussed:

What was discussed:

  • Changing the hostel culture
  • Each hostel is unique – do your research
  • Hostel animators – experiences&practices
  • Yearly events calendar and tools to make it live in practice
  • Travel lifecycle strategies

SALES ANALYSIS AND STRATEGIES, by Lior Slepkov, owner @Hostel Consulting

Speaker’s bio: Lior Slepkov is the Head Hostel Coach and Founder at He has over 18 years experience in business management and supervision. Eight of those years within the hosteling industry having managed, supervised and consulted for 14 different hostels and counting. Amongst these hostels are award winning Tattva Design Hostel (Porto) and Destination Hostels (Lisbon).

Currently based in Madrid, Spain, while consulting for Way Hostel, Lior frequently travels to other hostels which call him to help in their awareness of opportunities and guides them through targeted changes aimed to turn their opportunities into strengths.  His own personal strengths as a Hostel Coach are in Sales Strategies and Operational Excellence both stemming from his previous McDonalds management career in Canada.

What was discussed:

  • Analyzing historical data to increase future revenue
  • Room Configurations and their impact on sales
  • Increasing direct bookings
  • Internet sales strategies

INTERNET MARKETING STRATEGIES – DONE RIGHT, by Ognjen Pajkovic, Digital Media Planner @Huge Media

Speaker’s bio: Ognjen Pajković is Google AdWords certified, Digital Media Planner, currently employed at Huge Media which is one of the leading full-service digital marketing agencies in the Balkans (the first Google Premier Partner in Serbia). He holds Master of International Economics and Business. He had studied in Novi Sad, Serbia (undergraduate and master studies), Warsaw, Poland (Undergraduate exchange, Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Holder) and Ancona, Italy (Master exchange, Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Holder).

What was discussed:

  • World of Information
  • Power of Your Website
  • Internet Marketing Strategies
  • Google AdWords




  • Breakfast should always be included in the accommodation price
  • It is impossible to work without a property management system (PMS)
  • Hostel manager should be chosen from the reception staff, not externally
  • Fees charged by OTASs completely justify the service they provide
  • The guest is always right
  • A volunteer can replace a full-time employee
  • Airbnb is a direct competition to hostels
  • Social media directly influences the increase of sales



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Why Hostels are No Longer the Little Guys
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Tickets available until October 6!