HOSCARs Awards 2021

Like everything this year, our annual awards will be a little different. HOSCARs 2020 will be extraordinary!

2021 Awards 🏆

We stand united in the challenges the travel industry faces, and yet we’ve seen so many of you do incredible things. For this year’s HOSCARs we want to celebrate the outstanding hostels that have made their mark on the world in extraordinary ways, despite of, and in some cases because of the difficulties the world is in.

We know that you’re out there, adapting and evolving, making travellers’ stays as safe as can be. You’re introducing new ways to ensure backpackers can stay social (even from a distance!), and so many of you have gone above and beyond to support your local communities. Throughout all the chaos, you’ve been making changes to help build a better world, and we want to celebrate YOU.

Applications opening soon!

We know that social experiences are at the heart of all great hostels. It’s where travellers make meaningful connections and form life-long friends. 2020 has made these experiences challenging to host, with distancing guidelines, masks, and rules that vary from country to country.

The EXTRAORDINARY Sociable Experience award will recognise the hostel that has given everything to ensure that their guests are still able to safely interact. We want to hear the creative ways in which you’ve adapted social events and made them work in this new world - be it through new activities, social events, entertainment, use of technology, or anything we haven’t thought of.

The EXTRAORDINARY Community & Social Impact award will reward a hostel that has made a significantly positive impact in its local community or wider society. We want to hear from hostels that have launched volunteering projects, charitable work, fundraising events, and anything that’s helping to make our world a better place.

We want to hear as much detail as possible about how you’re making a difference. This award is open to all hostels that have made a clear and constructive effort to drive local or global change, and anything in between. We want to recognise the work of hostel staff all around the world who are committed to making a positive difference.

The EXTRAORDINARY Sustainable Hostel award not only recognises the importance of protecting the environment but also participates in eco-friendly projects and practices. This award acknowledges hostels that promote, inspire, and encourage their customers and staff to adopt a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle.

Examples could include, but are not limited to, community-based eco-tours, carbon-neutral activities, eco-friendly lodging/facilities, and new sustainable initiatives. Your entry will be judged on the information you share in your submission, so please include a clear explanation of your hostels sustainable practices and the impact/results they’ve had so far. This award recognises commitment, inspiration and exemplary measures that help to protect our planet.

The EXTRAORDINARY Inclusive Hostel award will recognise a hostel that has gone to incredible lengths to create an environment where everyone feels included and accepted. Hostels are known to be welcoming places, but we want to find one that has truly celebrated individuality and diversity. The world isn’t yet equal and the travel sector has a long way to go to make sure we’re encouraging and supporting all kinds of travellers on their journeys. We want to hear about the policies, structural changes, events, hiring processes and initiatives that make your hostel a truly inclusive place to be.

This award is open to hostels that have enabled a more equal and accepting world, across dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. These changes must have taken place within 2020 and although the hostel’s focus may be on a specific sector of society, the hostel must be inclusive to all.

Simply making it through 2020 is worthy of an award, but if you’ve had the added complexity of building a new business, we feel you deserve a special shout out. The EXTRAORDINARY New Hostel award will celebrate the inspiring stories from the newest properties to join our global hostel family at a time when the backpacking world pretty much came to a standstill.

We want to hear from hostels that opened any time from September 2019, six months before the world went into a global shutdown due to Covid-19. Tell us what it took to get through 2020 as a new business, how you overcame this challenge and any learnings that would help others in the same position.

If there’s one thing that 2020’s made us all realise, it’s that nothing is guaranteed, and survival often involves quick and creative thinking. The EXTRAORDINARY Innovation award, is for hostels that have pivoted their business models, launched brand new services, or have innovated in ways we haven’t even thought of. So, if you got those creative juices flowing and have turned your hand to something new to ensure your hostel thrives in these uncertain times, we want to hear what you’ve been up to.

You’re all hostel heroes in our eyes, and this award is extra special. Instead of nominating yourself for the 2020 EXTRAORDINARY Hostel Hero award, our panel of judges will sift through all the other award submissions and select the best. We know this one is going to be tricky to decide, as we’re already aware of some incredible activities from 2020, and we’re sure there’s so much more to discover. So, pick the award that best suits what you’ve been up to and you’ll automatically be summited as an entrant for this award.

How you enter
and win

We’re asking you to nominate your hostel, for the award/s you deserve to win. A panel of judges will shortlist the finalists and we’ll promote them across the Hostelworld marketing channels, asking our audience to vote. The winners will be awarded, using a combined score from the judges and the public vote.

All relevant initiatives, openings and activities that have taken place between January 2020 to December 2020 are eligible for these EXTRAORDINARY 2020 HOSCARs.

Applications opening soon!

Entry Guidelines 📜

What have you done in 2020 that sets you apart from other hostels? Your submission should tell us how and why you feel you deserve to win the specific award you have selected.

You can enter for more than one award, but each award must have its own submission. We are looking for authenticity and originality. Decisions can only be based on what you supply and here are some tips to guide you:

Each award is completely unique, so decide which one suits your business’s 2020 achievements. Your hostel may suit more than one, which is great, but ensure that each submission has been given the time and energy that it deserves.
Each submission needs supporting evidence, so provide this alongside achievements you share. This includes but is not limited to case studies, links to resources, reviews, quotes/testimonials, photos, or video links. We need the evidence to consider your submission.
Write in short clear sentences and make it as easy as possible for the judges to understand. Avoid talking about anything that isn’t specifically relevant to the criteria and if you can have a friend or colleague proof-read your submission even better.
There is a strict word limit of 1,000 words per award submission, which must be written in English. This is to help the judging panel assess submissions.
You may wish to submit a video (maximum 3 minutes long) explaining why you are nominating your hostel for the specific award. Videos do not need to have a high level of production; smartphone videos are acceptable. We will explain this process in more detail soon.

Judging Process 🔮

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges from within our industry or who have an in-depth understanding of the areas our awards focus on.

  1. All submissions will be reviewed to ensure compliance with Hostelworld best practice guidelines – they will also need to have maintained a minimum Hostelworld rating for relevant period of time.
  2. The judges will then shortlist 5 hostels for each award, so 35 finalists in total.
  3. The finalists will then be promoted on Hostelworld’s marketing channels for the public to vote.
  4. The finalists are also encouraged to share links (and reshare Hostelworld posts) to promote their award entry and The EXTRAORDINARY HOSCARs.
  5. The public can read through all the submissions before casting their vote.
  6. The winners will be based on a combination of the judges’ votes, the publics’ vote and their Hostelworld rating for a relevant time period.
These awards are inclusive to all and we expect entrants to have the same values. To help ensure that our backpacking community feel safe, happy, and included within your hostel, your review score will be a factor when selecting the finalists. Any hostels that are under investigation will not be considered, unless the case is closed within the submission timeframe, and the hostel is cleared of any wrongdoing. We hope you understand why this is important for the integrity of our industry. All winners announced will be final.