Speakers and Panelists | Berlin 2017, November 2-3

Yasmina Leon

Senior Hospitality Consultant @Cloudbeds

Yasmina is a Senior Hospitality consultant at Cloudbeds where she started in March 2015. She is positioning and branding Cloudbeds in Europe & Asia, helping her customers to increase their direct reservations and to improve and facilitate the management of their properties. Before working in Cloudbeds, she was Senior Sales Executive at Hostelworld, working with the Sales Manager to develop and implement sales strategy / processes to target properties setting up marketing sales /campaigns, mailing listing preparation, representing the company at trade events and on sales trips.

Yasmina’s favorite place to travel is Africa, and her favorite hostel is ‘Guesthouse Nara Backpackers’ in Japan.


Aislinn Sheehan

Operations Manager @Hostelworld

Aislinn joined Hostelworld in 2004 having previously managed hostels in Dublin.

She is currently Operations Manager for the Global Market Team ensuring that our property partners are receiving excellent support not only in Dublin but also across our satellite offices.

Aislinn leads a multi-lingual team whose primary focus is to ensure our property partners have the tools they need to maximise online visibility and bookings.

Torsten Sabel

Co-Founder & COO @Customer Alliance

Torsten Sabel is co-founder & COO of Customer Alliance. He gained a degree in business administration and hotel management in Maastricht. With over 10 years of experience in the hotel industry Torsten Sabel is an expert on quality management and hotel marketing. His experience as a hotel professional includes work at independent hotels, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts and designhotels.com in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. He is also member of the advisory board for digital marketing at HSMAI.


Erica McMahon

Senior Markets Manager @Hostelworld

Erica joined Hostelworld in 2002. Having worked across several areas within the business Erica is now responsible for B2B partnerships within our Global Market Team

Erica leads a large team of market specialists managing Hostelworld’s top producing supply partners and is focused on revenue growth across 7 key markets.

Meir Razzon

Co-Founder @Hostelpass

Meir Razzon is a young professional in the budget travel industry. While studying Industrial & Systems Engineering and Digital Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, he co-created HostelPass, a startup that sells the first pass for travelers to stay at the best hostels in Europe. As an entrepreneur and a traveler he is looking forward to seeing the momentum he can add to the budget accommodation. So far Meir has lived in 3 countries and traveled to 27 and he looks forward to a professional life full of travel.

Jason Gastaldo

Co-Founder @Podstel

Jason is the Customer Experience Manager and co-founder of Podstel. Since the first Podstel’s grand opening in Bucharest in November 2016, he has taken on the role of Customer Experience Manager, and spends his time making sure guests have a great time. After dropping out of university at age 18, he found and followed his passion for travel and hospitality by beginning a 10-year journey of hitchhiking, couchsurfing and working across 45 countries. Through staying with and hosting over 400 couch surfing hosts around the world and speaking with thousands of drivers, he learned what makes a great hospitality experience. Determined to be able to find common ground and make a genuine connection with anyone, he has learned 7 languages to fluency, which has proven very useful for hosting international travelers at Podstel. For the future, Jason is dedicated to helping Podstel achieve their vision of creating a network of Podstels across Europe.

Zoë Bowthorpe

Marketing Director @Hostel Doctor

Zoe Bowthorpe is the Marketing Director for Hostel Doctor, a marketing and design consultancy for backpacker businesses. After many years backpacking around the globe on the other side of the check-in desk, Zoe became the General Manager for Europe’s Famous Hostels, a network of 50+ of the best hostels in Europe. After some more traveling, she launched Hostel Doctor in London and Barcelona, to help independent hostels to effectively market themselves. Hostel Doctor specialises in professional design, branding, and marketing strategies.

Sarah Weingust

Co-Founder @Hostelpass

Sarah Weingust came up with the idea for HostelPass, a Eurail-type pass for accommodation, while studying abroad in London during the spring of 2015. After coming back to finish up her degrees in Psychology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, she and her business partner, Meir Razzon, worked hard to bring HostelPass to life. Their effort earned them each awards from the USC school of business, including naming Sarah Undergraduate Entrepreneur of the Year. Now, as a graduate, Sarah is thrilled to be solving a problem that she understands first-hand and is excited to see how the solution will benefit many travelers to come.

Joab Maranhao

General Manager & Co-Founder @Spire Hostel Dublin

Joab’s first experience with hostels was back in 2007 as a volunteer. He now has 6 years of experience with hostel industry as a general manager. Joab studied Business Management at CCT College in Dublin and Revenue Management for hospitality sector at Dublin Institute of Technology. He is focused on business development, pricing strategy, financial management, human resource and customer service satisfaction, with experience across multiple industries including catering, hostels, security forces. Joab’s highlight achievement in Spire Hostel Dublin is a very high ADR and occupancy, as well as an impressive growth of direct sale in the last 3 years consecutively.

Stephan Leuenberger

Regional Sales Manager | Europe @Cloudbeds

Stephan is in the hostel industry since 2007. His previous positions include Business Development & Account Manager at Hostelling International in Brazil and Senior Account Executive (Brazil office manager) for Hostelworld.com. He travelled through all the regions in Brazil straightening client relationships, providing them with sales and revenue consultancy as well as detailed reports for growth at HW’s website. Stephan was responsible for activating quality new properties on Hostelworld.com and partner sites, providing training and online support for existing properties; monitoring reviews/availability and pricing issues.

marco bartolleti

Marco Bortoletto

Founder&Event Manager @Best Nights Barcelona

For the last nine years, Marco has been working as event manager&organizer in a number of hostels across Spain, UK, and France. In his leading position in Best Nights Barcelona, he dedicates himself to studying the specific culture of each individual hostel, tailoring the offer and activities to the interests of everyone involved in the hostel lifecycle: guests, receptionists, suppliers, hostel marketing, reservations department, etc. Marco is the author of a book on hostels, “Hostel Culture Developer”.

Cristina Pan

Expansion Europe @Worldpackers

Backpacker and hostel traveler, with more than 100 hostels visited and counting, Cristina has been developing the Worldpackers idea across Spain and Italy during 2017. With a background in creative advertising and public relations, she has been traveling to find the best hosts to join the Worldpackers Community, giving them ideas of promotion, marketing, and creativity. Currently traveling around Europe to spread the idea of collaboration in countries with an emergent backpacker’s tourism.

Joan Sanz

Business Development Manager @Xotels

Joan holds a Masters degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Barcelona, where from 2013 he works as an Associate Professor. In 2014 he joined Xotels as Business Development Manager, where he develops and executes revenue management, hotel marketing, and e-commerce consultancy projects, always looking for RevPar Growth. With a strong revenue management, e-commerce and distribution background, Joan and the Xotels Revenue Management Team help independent accommodations to uncover their hidden revenue potential and increase their bottom line by implementing best practices, proven techniques, and the latest travel distribution developments.

Omer Bogger

Traveler, hostel owner, TEDx speaker

Currently an owner of two and a half hostels in Israel, 2015 Omer bravely took the challenge of turning a brothel in the run down city of Tiberias into an oasis for travelers wishing to explore the north of Israel. For two years he toiled 24/7 to match the hostel to the context and tourists needs, creating a product that can provide the needs of a wide range of clientele sharing the same roof. This earned him recognition of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. In 2017 he spent the year behind the scenes of a reception-less guesthouse project, constantly experimenting and troubleshooting the impossible online check-in system while trying to get his vintage VW van back on the road. Currently he is feeling around for his next hostel adventure while enjoying Techno and Real Winter in Berlin.

FrontDesk master

Mateusz Sznir

Founder and CEO @FrontDesk Master

Mateusz Sznir (aka Mat) is Polish but he currently lives in Montreal. He holds a Master degree in Law, however, since early years, Mateusz has been passionate about traveling and sailing. Mat opened his first hostel Good Bye Lenin in Krakow in 2006. Over the next few years, he opened and managed four other hostels under the same brand. In 2011, he co-founded HostelSystem, the company which offers HostelSystem (desktop software) and FrontDesk Master (cloud application), both comprehensive and powerful Property Management Systems with integrated Channel Manager created to help hostel managers to run their properties.

back to top
HostelSkills Conference LIVE
Please, fill form below and watch our event live!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
or subscribe to our mailing list
Why Hostels are No Longer the Little Guys
HostelSkills Conference BCN
13-14 October 2016
Tickets available until October 6!
Find us in social networks:
Enter your email to be updated on tactics that work and the latest hostel industry news
No thanks, I can't do any better
HostelSkills #4
November 2-3, 2017
creative thinking
business ideas
HostelSkills #5
April, 2018
creative thinking
business ideas
Don’t you hate it when you miss on a good deal?
Find us in social networks:
Sign up for info on a limited batch of tickets at crazy low prices!
No thanks!
HostelSkills #5 in Krakow in April 2018 promises to be the best so far!