In-out hostel

A special place for special people

Sunday 1 June 2014, by Cristina

1 inspired

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

In-Out hostel is a non-profit organization established in 1976 in the outskirts of Barcelona (approximately 15 minutes away from the city centre) surrounded by a natural environment. It is a hostel but it also carries on different activities for its guests, from gastronomic workshops to free air activities and excursions. It is also part of the Dincat (Intellectual Disabilities in Catalunya) association and has made great advances for integration of intellectually disabled people from the region.

The most special feature of this guesthouse is that it employs intellectually disabled people in all their operations, from room service to cooking and excursion planning. In-out has won several awards for its task as an ethical organization. Amongst others, it obtained in 2010 a silver medal in the Spanish social solidarity yearly awards. Recently, it has also been awarded with the international Hoscar Award 2014, the most prestigious in the sector, in the category of special contribution for making it visible in a natural and positive way the abilities of disabled people.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

The ethical challenge that this company is addressing is the social insertion of mentally disabled people. It helps this segment of the population not only by providing them a job but also taking profit from their work: making them feel valuable and needed. In-out hence does not only help its employees and their families (handling an intellectually disabled relative can sometimes be hard if he does not have a job or a task to perform), but also helps the society as a whole by putting these people’s efforts into an useful outcome.

We would also like to make a special mention to the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability: all of their activities are eco-friendly, respect the region’s ecosystem and intend to improve it.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

In-out hostel is a company that combines both ethics with an excellent business model, so that its main activity it is not separated from ethics. The fact it bases this combined model with the commitment to the workers’ social integration makes us believe and trust in it. In addition, it is important to say that this hostel has been created with the intention to help people with intellectual disabilities, and since it is a non-profit organization they’d rather help these people to live in better conditions instead of making profits.

Moreover, In-Out hostel does not just stay here. It goes far beyond this social integration commitment, and environmental sustainability is another issue in its mind. A proof of it is that they decided to locate the hostel in a natural green park. Besides, it tries to minimize energy consumption with LEDS, as well as it uses clean energy, reuse furniture that others do not want, and so on. In this direction, it defines itself as a green and original hostel.
The different commitments of this company have not only drawn our attention but also other critics’ one. It has gained a lot of reputation, as well as an understanding of how the hostel runs, including its unique methodology and advanced efforts to stay green. A part from its own employees, a lot of volunteers work alongside with them helping them with their daily tasks.

Finally, the fact of people being aware of its business model will help its future growth, and clients will start to become more and more aware of the importance of its role and will become more attached to the social project being carried out.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

In-Out hostel has proved its idea to be a really good business, for both ethical and economical reasons, which may be a motive for other people to enter on the same practices. Competition can arise in a near future, and they will definitely try to outperform In-out’s services. For instance, accessibility to the resort is a key point. Some people who have never been in the hostel before may be reluctant to go in the first place because of its situation; since they have to walk uphill to get there and it’s not really near the city centre.

In addition, resources for this type of entities are not really high. They had to make a huge investment and got into huge debt. Because of the current crisis in Spain, borrowing requirements are higher every day, so that In-Out may face difficulties in borrowing money in the future.

In-Out hostel is already an outstanding organization; however, it can still improve in some ways. In order to deter and overcome future competition, it should look for differentiation in, for instance, its services quality and its natural surroundings. They should also seek to build a strong brand name, which could be achieved through good communication and promotion of its values and mission. More importantly, they should keep engaging with the environment and the society and never forget about its commitment.

We believe, however, that they won’t have any problems in facing future challenges, since they have everything they need to make it happen: willingness and determination to fight for it.

As they said: “If we’ve got here, there’s no turning back. We would start all over again! Because it’s something special, and different.”


Location: Barcelona (Spain)

Sector: Accommodation and food service activities

Official website:

Nbr. visits: 208

Nbr. inspires: 1