HOMEY 刊在China Post!!! homey hostel on news!!

謝謝大家謝謝可愛美麗的記者過來採訪,HOMEY 刊在China Post!!! 
WOW!! homey hostel on China Post (newspaper) 
after read this post, you will know what's the difficult situation of hostel industry in Taiwan. for most backpackers, it is common that hostel is the best choice in each city when travel. BUT we are sorry it is not easy to find A hostel walking in street cause of Taiwanese old Hotel rules....
這篇在介紹台灣要成立hostel 的困難,背後是要付出多大的努力克服重重難關,簡單說就是要有一大筆資金去建一個符合旅館法規等級(高成本)但是卻平價導向的青年旅館,利潤太少所以財團可能不想做吧。傻傻的年輕人去做,憑著一股傻勁一股熱情 
青年旅館是全世界盛行已久的住宿選擇之一,無論到哪個國家哪個城市都有,泰國有背包客棧一條街,每年有來自世界各地絡繹不絕的背包客,馬來西亞觀光局更補助願意成立青年旅館的業者。反觀台灣,去年來台觀光人數突破七百萬,人數大增!今天看到報紙,聰明的觀光局想到要投入心力輔導老舊旅館變身,來解決住宿需求的問題.......好吧 可能觀光局還不知道背包客的消費力跟影響力,要等政府解決青年旅館的議題 等到天荒地老也等不到......


Rules restrain hostel growth: firm

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Restrictions on license and fire code requirements are posing challenges to the establishment and expansion of hostels in Taipei, a local youth hostel owner told The China Post recently.
Josh Hsiao (蕭宗仁), the owner and manager of Homey Hostel, said he is still waiting for his license application to go through three months after filing the papers.
According to regulations, the street in front of buildings that house hotels must be at least 8 meters wide, Hsiao said. Locations meeting such a requirement are hard to come by and are usually prohibitively expensive. In order to meet all the regulations, Hsiao and his sister had spent over a year looking at more than 100 places to find the location, and spent millions of New Taiwan dollars to build the hostel.
Hsiao said he also spent a considerable amount modifying the walls in the building, which by law must be able to endure a fire for at least an hour before collapsing. Taipei's fire code also requires a hotel to have two separate fire escape stairways.
It was hard to find a place that is convenient to reach for backpackers, fits all the government's requirements, and is affordable, Hsiao said. While the laws are there to ensure businesses operate in a safe environment, youth hostel owners are usually small businesspeople, and the steep rental prices that come with a good location can prove an often insurmountable challenge, Hsiao said.
As a hostel owner, he said, he and his sister have a sense of responsibility to introduce the beauty of Taipei to travelers. A hostel is often a backpacker's first impression of Taipei, he has dedicated everything in the hostel to making it the best place to stay, Hsiao said. Nevertheless, the problems that came with applying for a hotel license in Taipei were discouraging.
Sicca Kuo (郭懿昌), manager of On My Way hostel, said running a hostel is a long-term business. Kuo said he wanted to provide a cozy and safe place for foreign travelers, but was also faced with many challenges when applying for the license.
Yeh Ming-lang (葉鳴朗), director of Taiwan Youth Hostel Association (YH,青年之家協會), agreed that it is difficult for a youth hostel to register a license in Taipei. It requires a large sum of money to rent a location that meets all related regulatory and code requirements. A hostel owner usually does not have enough capital to achieve this, he said.
Yeh, however, stressed that having a hotel license is the prerequisite to join the association.
The two major challenges faced when applying for a license are finding a suitable location, and having enough capital pay rent and to perform renovations to meet fire code requirement.
While keeping safety considerations in mind, slightly easing regulations — such as reducing the mandated width of the adjacent street from 8 meters to 4 meters — may help the development of the youth hostel sector in Taipei, Yeh said.
According to the Taipei City Tourist Industry Division (TID), current laws regulate hotel and home-stay businesses but not hostels. A home stay must be built on nonurban land, which is very hard to find in Taipei City. Therefore, a hostel has to register and obey hotel enterprise regulations, a TID official said.
Emily Hu (胡宜珍), section chief of the TID, said “it is not entirely impossible” to separate the hostel regulations from those governing hotels. The city government has made related proposals to the central government, but such amendments take a long time to become law, Hu added.
The lack of specific restrictions for youth hostels is also confusing for backpackers traveling in Taiwan.
Hilary Chu, a backpacker from Hong Kong, said she did not know if the hostel she stayed at is licensed, but that compared with her experiences in Europe, it looks more like a family flat than a hostel. There was no signboard for the hostel, so it took her longer to find, and the hostel did not accept credit card payments, which she said was strange.