For 19 years, the HOSCARs have acknowledged hostels from all four corners of the globe with the highest customer reviews and ratings. This year, with the world in lockdown and travel put on hold, the HOSCAR awards have been restructured to recognise the incredible work hostels have been doing in their communities, and to support the industry, during the global pandemic.
Fabrizio Giulio, Chief Supply Officer at Hostelworld, said: “This year’s HOSCARs not only commemorate a difficult year for the hostel industry, but allow us to celebrate the incredible efforts our hostel partners have taken during this time. We wanted to recognise all their achievements.
The HOSCARs are equally valuable to our community. They provide a trusted way for our customers to identify the experience they want from their travels, and where to find it. It was important that our customers were still a crucial part of the awards and involved in selecting the hostels that deserve to be recognised for their excellence and extraordinary efforts.”
You can find full list of winners here: www.hostelworld.com/
Representing Armenia, Envoy Hostel was crowned most EXTRAORDINARY Community and Social Impact Hostel by a panel of expert travel judges and more than 20,000 votes by hostel travellers all around the world.
This HOSCAR award recognises envoy’s heartfelt charity efforts especially in 2020. In response to the war that broke out on the border of Armenia in late September 2020, many fled the war zone. Some of these refugees, somehow, found their way to envoy in Yerevan. Naturally, we accepted them with open hearts and did our best to look after all their needs. This included food and other essential needs like winter clothing. Most had fled without having the chance to bring much supplies. Many couldnt return even after the war ended. So we continued to look after these vulnerable families until they had proper housing to go to. Our efforts also included:
- Fundraising efforts across the globe to collect enough funds to support all the families we were helping.
- Entertaining the children to keep their spirits high. Most had their fathers, brothers, uncles fighting in the war so it was important to keep their minds busy. We would arrange entertainment, celebrate their birthdays and even take them on excursions around the city, to the zoo and to historic sights outside of Yerevan.
- Arranging family dinner nights. We would purchase ingredients and together as one big family would cook meals to enjoy together. This would lift the spirits of all staying at envoy.
- Visiting refugee families not staying at envoy. We took essential items and food to them. We also bought fire wood so they could survive the harsh winters.
- One family we found (not staying at envoy) had 10 children. They were very poor and the mother of the family was suffering from serious illness. We bought them an oven and a washing machine so they can cook meals and improve their hygiene.
- Helped start a small business! We bought a sewing machine for a young lady who had just learnt how to sew. She started to sew linen and sell the sets to earn an income.
- We found work for a couple of people staying at envoy who were looking for work.
- Joined a Dear Santa program, taking gifts to children affected by the war. Once little girl had asked for a desk as she loved to study and wanted to become a bank manager in future. Another little boy had asked for a bicycle. It was a joy to see their smiling faces when we delivered their gifts.
Envoy would like to thank Hostelworld judges and to all those who voted for us. Envoy has received HOSCAR’s 9 times in past years (recognised as Best Hostel in Armenia 7 times and also twice in Georgia). However, this years award is more important to us as it is a special international category and under difficult circumstances of both the covid pandemic and a war. Our team feels encouraged and committed to do more good in our communities and to help those in need.
We also want to say a huge thank you to all our networks, friends, family members, past guests and friends of friends who all helped in these difficult times. This award was possible thanks to each and everyone of you. Thank you for being there when we needed help.