Youth hostels awarded the Solar Prize 2011


An honour for Swiss Youth Hostels: they received the Swiss Solar Prize on the 10th October 2011. For Zermatt, this is a further milestone for sustainability. Because the Youth Hostel Zermatt was the first Swiss youth hostel with the Minergie standard.

“The Solar Prize is another confirmation for us“, says Ulrich Zürcher, manager of the Youth Hostel Zermatt. Confirmation “of what we experience every summer” adds Zürcher. Because the solar cells of the Jugi Zermatt provide the hot water from March to November.

The Youth Hostel Zermatt was rebuilt in 2003 and received the Steinbock Label for sustainability and the EU Environmental Label shortly afterwards. The guests also noticed from time to time that things in the house are really aimed at saving with regard to energy, says Ulrich Zürcher: “If somebody leaves a window open in cold weather, the radiator in the room switches off automatically.” Another Zermatt company also won the same prize in 2010: The Zermatt Bergbahnen AG for the solar restaurant by the Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn), which was opened at that time.

Growing business

The Youth Hostel Zermatt is a very popular accommodation for young and old, for guests from both Switzerland and abroad. The atmosphere reflects this: it is easy-going and has an international character. The hostel has 174 sleeping places in 47 rooms. Around 31,000 overnight stays are generated every year.

Swiss Youth Hostels is a Non-Profit Organisation encompassing 54 youth hostels which, together, generated 945,000 overnight stays in 2010. And it’s no longer only young people who stay overnight at youth hostels: Families, groups and older persons have been among the guests for some time now. Even in Zermatt the youngest are only a few weeks old! “Our oldest regular guest is 93 years old”, says Ulrich Zürcher.

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