New Zealand Hostel Owner Sentenced For Filming Female Guests in the Shower

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  12.04.08 | 2:19 PM ET

A former hostel owner in New Zealand has been sentenced to community service and probation after admitting that he filmed his female guests in the shower for over a year. The man eventually removed his recording equipment and destroyed the hours of tape, but kept a two-hour “highlight reel” which he apparently watched regularly—with a friend who was a convicted sex offender.

This is the kind of story that I (someone who’s been hosteling solo since I was a teenager) hoped never to hear. The mutual trust required to make the global hosteling community work is a big part of what makes hostel-hopping so great. I would never have had some of my most memorable travel experiences if I hadn’t been willing to lie down every night in a room full of complete strangers.

Unfortunately, that exposure and trust is also what makes hostels the perfect fodder for low-grade horror movies—and, in this case, what allowed one real-life sick individual to take advantage of countless young women. (Via’s Scanner)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

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