Darren Overby, Hostel Management
Darren has been enthusiastically involved in the hostel industry for nearly 30 years. At 18 years old, he did not know about hostels so he "joined the Navy to see the world". While in the Navy he discovered his first hostel on Magnetic Island in Australia and was immediately captivated by the serendipitous friendly international community he found there. So when he got out of the Navy, he got a backpack, a one-way ticket and $1600 dollars(all the money he had) and flew to London. He spent two years backpacking Europe. In 1992, he founded Pacific Tradewinds Hostel in San Francisco. This hostel is the #1 property on Tripadvisor, Google and Facebook. The hostel is NOT listed on Hostelworld or Booking.com and gets over 50% of it's bookings direct from travelers. He also serves as the managing director for HostelManagement.com. Current projects include OurHostels.com (under development) and HostelSnap direct booking engine.
Hostels everwhere are telling travelers "Book Direct and Save!", but travelers persist in using high-cost OTAs. Darren and his team have examined this problem carefully and will propose a solution that may help travelers and hostels alike. He will present the current state of OurHostels.com and show how this site together with HostelSnap direct booking engine could become game-changers for our industry.