The Big Interview

‘In times of crisis, you want to be in control of your destiny’ – Gary Morrison of Hostelworld

Travel restrictions led to losses of €17.3 million for Dublin-headquartered Hostelworld in 2021 but now, with business almost back to pre-pandemic levels, its chief executive Gary Morrison is looking to the future and to other markets such as the over-35 solo traveller

Gary Morrison, chief executive of Hostelworld, stays incognito in hostels to do his ‘own sort of private market research’. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Gary Morrison is in relaxed mode. Coffee in hand, he has just cycled into Hostelworld’s headquarters on Charlemont Street in Dublin city.

After two difficult years for the online travel company, which has 36,000 hostels across 180 countries on its platform, things are looking up.

Morrison spent the previous night at the Astor Hyde Park hostel in London. Not revealing who he is when he stays in hostels, he likes to go down to the ...