umi Founder spearheads skills exchange with hostel in Cambodia

In the first project of its kind, the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) is working with umi hotels to give Rosy Guesthouse in Cambodia a strong brand and web presence with every minute of design, consultation and marketing, donated free of charge.

Steve Lowy, Founder of the award-winning budget hotel group, umi hotels, volunteered to work with ISTC and the Association of Youth Travel Accommodation (STAY WYSE) on their first Skills Exchange Initiative which aims to encourage the development of youth and student travel providers in lesser developed countries.

On 24th January, Steve will arrive in Siem Reap to begin a busy ten day schedule of assessment, mentoring and training with the team at Rosy Guesthouse.  Having built his budget hotel portfolio up from the age of 26 and becoming a Caterer & Hotelkeeper Acorn award winner three years later, he has proven his entrepreneurial talent within the hospitality field.  He is keen to share his passion and knowledge to help Rosy’s succeed and is hoping to learn some new ways of doing things himself.

In advance of Steve’s trip, 2am Media, the web development partner of umi, also donated their time and technical skills free of charge to build a brand new website for Rosy’s following the re-branding of the hostel by the newly established agency, umi Marketing.  Steve will also be spending Sunday coaching a local junior football team in Siem Reap, having donated some much-needed equipment purchased for the team by umi hotels.

The Skills Exchange Initiative uses the expertise of global youth travel professionals to help youth travel organisations in emerging and lesser developed countries to create commercially sustainable organisations.  The exchange of skills and exposure to best practice examples will help Rosy Guesthouse promote their accommodation to travellers in advance of their arrival in Cambodia and become a more profitable business.  The initiative also increases industry appreciation of the challenges that travel organisations in the developing world face.

Follow the progress of the project at