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Hostelworld shuts the door on Russia and Belarus


Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP

Hostelworld is one of latest companies to pull out of Russian operations in response to the war in Ukraine.

The Irish-founded hostel booking site has joined the likes of in no longer allowing bookings for rooms in Russia as well as Belarus.

“I can confirm that we are not allowing bookings in Russia or Belarus. Searches for those countries no longer return any results,” a spokeswoman said.

When users attempt to search for listings in cities such as Moscow or St Petersburg, they are instead greeted by a message stating: “Sorry, we cannot find anything that matches your search term”.

The spokeswoman confirmed that Hostelworld does not have any staff based in Russia.

Russia continues to see a mass exodus of companies in response to its invasion of Ukraine. With accommodation booking providers pulling operations and Russian flights over EU airspace restricted, travel and tourism to Russia is greatly curtailed.

Hostelworld is due to publish its full-year results for 2021 at the end of this month, which will provide an insight into its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, like many in the travel and tourism sector, was hit hard over the last two years with travel grinding to a halt during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its latest results, the online travel agent reported net revenues of €2.9m for the first six months of 2021 with a pre-tax loss of €20.6m.

Pre-pandemic, in 2019, it reported full-year revenue of €80.6m with pre-tax profits of €3m.

In a trading update in January of this year, the company said its business was starting to see a recovery in bookings as the world weathered the Omicron surge and more tourism destinations in regions such as Europe and the US began opening up again to visitors.

CEO Gary Morrison said the company had seen “consistent bookings recovery versus 2019 levels throughout the year, save for the last six weeks of the year which have been impacted by the Omicron variant”.

Through the slowdown wrought by the pandemic, company’s strategy has shifted to reducing operating expenses in response to the crisis which it was making “solid progress” on, he said.

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