Frugal Academics

It is pretty much a given that most business travelers on the government’s tab are usually outright profligates. (What the heck? It’s not their money!)

There is currently a conference here in Toronto for people who compile satistics on the rapidly changing demographics of Canada. As population changes with the influx of different ethnicities, new strategies must be employed to fit a new and rapidly changing social paradigm.

It requires those with a strong academic to compile accurate and pertainent statistics to enable the government to formulate plans and policies to ensure a smoothly running multi-cultural country.

I don’t think it is unfair to say that many (if not, most) bureaucrats working for the government, tend to be rather profligate when attending professional seminars and conferences. After all, it’s your money they are spending.

But here in our hostel, we have noted that there are notable exceptions. The exceptions are almost always government employed academics.

The conference referred to above took place at the exclusive Harbour Castle Hotel right on the Toronto waterfront. Conference attendees got a “special rate” of a little less than $200 per night. Not too bad for such a upscale hotel.

Josh, is a doctoral candidate (Geography) working for the Provincial Government of British Columbia. His job (among other things) is to track the geographical distribution of different ethnicities presumably to aid in allocating initiatives and funds in various areas. So he was here on the taxpayer’s dime and the total cost of his conference was budgeted for around $1600 of public funds.

We see a lot of professionals attending conferences since Toronto is the conference centre of Canada. Yet, the individuals who opt to stay at our hostel (instead of an expensive 4star luxury hotel) are employees  with strong academic backgrounds.

Why? We have no idea really.

But some have speculated, that after years spent as a struggling student, academics know the value of money and are loathe to spend it wastefully. So many of them elect to stay in our hostel.

When we ask some of them why they choose to stay with us the answer (almost uniformly) is the friendly, convivial and unpretentious  atmosphere of hostels.

So if you are a senior bureaucrat booking accomodations for staff members, keep in mind that we are centrally located in the downtown core of Toronto and have clean, comfortable private rooms at less than 1/3 the price of a downtown hotel.


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