Live it Now

In 2013, Zostel was launched with a goal to make people travel more and to make travelling in India a safe, enjoyable and affordable experience for everyone. We thought we could do it alone but we are glad to admit that we were wrong! With the passage of time as we proved the viability of Zostel's concept in India, we realised that this was too humongous a task for us to carry out on our own. Having blazed the virgin trail, making it safer for others to follow in our footsteps, we decided to invite passionate, like-minded people to come along in helping us clean this sector. We did this through this unique franchise programme of ours called EDP wherein we mentored and supported those travel freaks who wanted to build and run their own Zostel anywhere in India or even abroad.

In fact, as many as 20 Zostels across India and Nepal were launched within last 2.5 years under this programme - creating at least 40 local microentrepreneurs who are now happily following their heart doing what they love - traveling, meditating, pursuing their other passions in life or just chilling in their own Zostel's common room with people from around the world.

In short, Zostel EDP is once in a lifetime opportunity where Zostel helps the enthu cutlets - anyone from a fresh college graduate to a corporate honcho to a retired citizen, a businessman or anybody who is passionate about traveling - to be an entrepreneur and to break free from the shackles of a monotonous life holding them back. If you have that fire in your belly and the capability to take some calculated risk - we will take care of the rest.

Our Value Addition

Phenomenal Brand Value

Partner with India's first & finest backpacking hostel chain - The Trailblazers in India

Efficient Revenue Management

Professional central sales team expert in managing demand/distribution across channels

Set-up & Design Guidance

From site-selection to colour of cushions to style of wall art, we have your back at all times

Strong Operating Procedures

From Staff training to Review management, everything to ensure you are top of your game

Innovative Marketing Push

This is our forte. From Facebook to Instagram - we conquer all with our wit & our designs

Technology Backend

Dedicated central team to help you with all the technology requirement, in-house or otherwise.

From The Ones Who Followed Their Heart

"Zostel gave us the brand & the platform to promote the locals and engage the travellers in eco-friendly tourism" .
Ankush, Owner - Zostel Bir

"As promising as the trajectories are, all the efforts are totally worth it!"
Ayush, Owner - Zostel Kathmandu

Being a Zostel Partner, hosting travellers across the globe feels like a journey in itself"
Hemant, Owner - Zostel Khajuraho

"Working with Zostel is super fun as the team understood us, nurtured us well and helped us along the way"
Sagar, Owner - Zostel Gokarna

To help you make an informed decision, we have opened our entire treasure trove of business secrets. Its unprecedented for a privately held company to make available all its business data in public domain. We have gathered this information painstakingly over the past 5 years while running the backpacker hostel business across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent.

This data is the essence of Zostel EDP and this is what makes our EDP an actual Entrepreneurship Development Programme - differentiating it from any other run-of-the-mill franchise program in any sector. We take pride in our achievements, have nothing to hide and are happy to showcase them to anyone willing to join us on this journey of inspiring the people to travel more.

  • Business Deck - A detailed presentation on Backpacker Hostel Market in India and the world along with Zostel's positioning in it. We have also added detailed case studies of 10 Zostels - detailing financial as well as every other business aspect of setting up and running these Zostels. A note of caution - this is a heavy file and for the best experience, use a desktop after allowing a couple of minutes for the file to load
  • Infographic - A quick summary of the opportunity and the unit economics involved
  • Financial Calculator - Helps you play around with numbers with regards to investment needs and expected returns for a particular project

Business Deck

Know everything about Zostel's business in detail through actual case studies


A quick peek into why what and how of Zostel business

Financial Calculator

Thinking money? How much, when, how? The answer is here

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Zostel Franchise Program?

It is a one-of- its-kind initiative by Zostel to help and motivate the ‘free’ and ‘ambitious’ souls, who want to be an entrepreneur and to break free from the shackles of a monotonous life holding them back. Through this programme, Zostel handholds you in starting your own Zostel at a location of your choice.

Why Zostel is running this program?

Because Zostel believes that travel is a form of meditation, a way of knowing yourself deep down – something which has profound effect on the way you think and act in life. Our sole ambition is to make people travel more and to change the way India is travelled. Obviously, being such a humongous task, we can’t do it alone. We want passionate, hard-working people with a similar philosophy to create a strong community of travellers and entrepreneurs, a community that can bring in a revolution.

Who can apply to Zostel Franchise Program?

Zostel EDP is targeted at anyone who wants to break the shackles of mundane, uninspiring daily rut which we mistakenly call ‘life’. It’s for all those who want to control their life while being happy about what they do – everyday. He/she can be anyone – a fresh college graduate, a corporate honcho, a retired citizen, a businessman – anyone who is ready to work hard and is passionate in life.

Application Process
So, what are the steps for applying to Zostel Franchise Program?

Step 1: Before filling the franchise form make sure to go through all the confidential details about Zostel that we have revealed on our website. This includes case studies of present Zostels, infographic with all the statistics of this business and a calculator to understand a ball park figure of expenses involved and possible returns from a backpacker hostel business.

Step 2: After you have gone through all the details you will be in a better position to answer all the questions in this form. Fill this type form ( as honestly and as religiously as possible. The more we know about you, the better it helps us to understand why you want to do this.

Step 3: We will review your application and get back to as per the details you provide here.

I have filled the form, when will hear back from the Zostel team?

We usually take up to 48 hours to get back to applicants once their form is received if in case you do not receive any reply from us you can feel free to contact us by mailing at

I have a property in a city where Zostel should be, can I convert it into a Zostel?

Yes! Please fill the franchisee form and we will get back to you via email for further discussion regarding converting your property into a Zostel.

I dont have a property but I want to open a Zostel?

No problem, most Zostels run on a renting model where the franchisee takes properties on long term lease and the franchisee handles the operations of the property with an oversight by the Zostel team on day to day basis.

How much time does it take to start a Zostel?

Depending upon the scope of work and if you adhere to the timelines set by our on boarding team it takes roughly three to four months from acquisition to final launch.

How much capital does it take to start a Zostel?

On an average it takes somewhere between 15 - 25 lac rupees to start a Zostel franchise depending upon the condition of the property, city and the deal with the owner of the property.

Will Zostel provide any funds to start the franchisee?

No, Zostel won't be providing any funds for starting the franchise. Being the oldest and the biggest hostel chains in the India what we provide is our experience of having started more than 20 Hostels and association with one of India's most recognized travel brands.

Can Zostel take my existing property, manage it and give me rent or share in profits?

No. All Zostel run on Franchisee-Owned Franchisee Operated (FOFO) business model. Under this the franchise owner has to either own/lease a property and then Zostel will help them in setup/sales/marketing/operations.

Can I apply with multiple partners on board?

Yes, you can.

How do I choose which location would be best for me to open a Zostel?

The decision of choosing your Zostel city depends upon your confidence and feasibility of finding and running the best property in town. Since only you know your strengths and that is exactly what you need to leverage. You might be from one part of the country and might be hoping to settle/start a business in another end. Nobody is stopping you from doing that. But in that case, your challenges will increase. Knowledge of local language, culture, and local contacts go long way in search of properties and also in managing the business in the long run. It is easier to spread the word on the ground and get brokers to find prospective properties for you or to get good leads through local contacts.

Please visit for updates about prospective Zostel cities. This has all the details of the locations where we feel a Zostel is required. Also, we have mentioned the cities where it is ideal to look for a property right now. We have also mentioned along with the names of the cities the number of EDP applicants who are actively looking for a property. So, take your time to decide which location would be best for you and let us know in the form.

Fee & Commissions
Is there any franchisee fees?

Yes, we charge a one-time franchise fee which is INR 2,00,000 (Rs Two Lakhs only). Our commissions and monthly charges initiate only after the property is set and launched. We do not charge you anything until the time the property is up and running.

What are the commissions that Zostel charges?

We charge a standard 18 percent commission plus taxes on booking through , offline or on walk-in guests and 8 percent commission plus taxes on rest of accommodation revenue (i.e. bookings through various OTAs like Hostel world, etc.). We DO NOT charge any commission on Food & Beverage sales or any other ancillary revenue of the property.