What has your company been up to in the past 12 months?
2019 was an extremely busy year for Wombat’s. We opened the doors to our first property in Italy, Venice Mestre in July which has been a huge success!
Besides the ongoing expansion we invested a lot of time and energy on structural changes within the company in order to have the best possible setup for everything that lies ahead.
What are the current or emerging trends within your sector?
Digitalisation and the various approaches to this topic is, and has been, one of the current trends. But also topics like green and social sustainability and co-working space are becoming more and more relevant to the hostel sector.
How does your role support the business?
I am one of three CEOs of Wombat’s The City Hostel and also the Head of Operations. My role on the one hand is to lead the group on a strategic level, to anticipate emerging trends and to make sure that Wombat’s vision and mission becomes tangible throughout the entire company. On the other hand I am in charge of all operational issues and coordinate topics between Wombat’s head office and our hostels.
What has been your career highlight to date?
I started working at Wombat’s 15 years ago, so I have seen quite a lot of coming and going, changes in the industry and stories that you can and will only experience in the hostel sector. But this year’s opening of Wombat’s Venice Mestre was definitely one of the highlights. Generally my highlight is probably an ongoing one: Being able to work in a field that I love, with staff that I value highly and with guests which bring the world together in our houses. I feel very privileged.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I was once told, if a problem arises, don’t stop by looking at and dealing with the problem. Look deeper. Problems are mostly only a symptom, you need to deal with the origin of the problem to solve it completely. This piece of advice has helped me in many situations, not only on a professional level but also on a personal one.
Where is your favourite place to travel to?
I must admit that currently my favourite place to travel is within Austria. Having grown up in Germany, Wales and South Africa I am currently content hopping on a train with my wife and 2 kids and exploring the hidden gems of Styria or Carinthia. I’m a lakey, mountainy kind of guy…
If you were not working in this sector what other industry would you have pursued a career in?
Haha, that is a very valid question. I have a degree in engineering so that might have been the obvious alternative. But I must say, I am very happy to be in the hostel sector!
What’s next for your company?
We have a lot planned for 2020! We are focussing on the opening of our second Wombat’s In Munich (planned opening in 2021) and have lot of technical and design Innovations up our sleeve. But I’d recommend you just come check it out yourself!
Find out more and connect with Wombat’s The City Hostels here
Published 27 January 2020