Homestay Offering in Offbeat Location From ZostelX

After receiving a huge amount of success and appreciation, Zostel has recently launched their new sub-brand ‘ZostelX’ that aims to bring handpicked offbeat alternate accommodations under one umbrella.

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STARTED IN 2013 by two IIM graduates, Zostel has altogether revolutionised the concept of backpacking travelling, by offering budget experiential stays. The project that started off from a small property in Jodhpur has spread its wing and currently running 32 Zostels across India and Nepal. Each Zostel has been designed in a manner to promote or facilitate millennial backpackers to come together and get to know new travellers.

 After receiving a huge amount of success and appreciation, Zostel has recently launched their new sub-brand ‘ZostelX’ that aims to bring handpicked offbeat alternate accommodations under one umbrella.  The new offering will cater to the growing class of new-age travellers seeking a more immersive travel experience by offering local homes, farm stays, chalets and other such alternate accommodations options.  To begin with, the company is foraying into the alternate accommodation segment with four beautifully located, offbeat homes in different valleys of Himachal Pradesh at Laida, Dabbi/Kothgarh, Cheog and Rumsu.

BW Hotelier got a chance to converse with Akhil Malik, CEO and Cofounder of Zostel, who told us about his plans with ZostelX. “The typical size of the backpacker’s hostel is from 40 to 50 lodges that mean it makes sense to start a backpacker hostel in the main streams such as Manali, Shimla or Dalhousie. But what we realised is that there are a lot more spaces which are apart from these mainstream places, which needs to get into the forefront. So, we wanted to marry this requirement and demand through ZostelX,” Malik started with.  

ZostelX is going to be a pilot project at the moment. The company mainly is targeting the whole new category of responsible travellers that includes family as well. The locations have been carefully chosen by the team in a manner that they are secluded yet accessible. Further, the properties have been handpicked and local owners are trained in hospitality to facilitate superlative experience.

“At Zostel, we have always believed in responsible tourism. Leaving these places off the tourism map and making them suffer financially just because we, the travellers, can’t be responsible is an injustice to these people. Infact, this is one of the major reasons behind the fact that almost 10 percent of the 15,000 odd villages in Uttarakhand are now ‘ghost’ villages – a lost paradise, something that could have been amazing, had we been able to introduce responsible tourism there in time,” says Malik.

Before launching ZostelX, the company recruited a local team from the valleys in Himachal Pradesh (Kinnaur and Kullu) to do the ground research and understand the pain points in terms of promoting the destination to attract more tourists. The team also helped the company to understand what kind of activities can be arranged to provide a complete and authentic experiential stay. The homestays hence selected have good infrastructure, fantastic natural views and active, friendly hosts.


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