The word ‘hostel’ brings to mind dorm style, small and budget accommodation for people who want to adjust themselves in a cheap stay. However, hostel marketplace is completely opposite of this misconception. Hostels now-a-days include private rooms and all hotel-like amenities. It is true that travellers will get accommodation at other places at cheaper rates but this segment of travel is also undergoing big changes to form its own place in the hospitality industry and is now catering to the needs of travel buffs all over the world, replacing the dormitory hostel image of the past.
In keeping with travellers’ basic need for privacy, hostels have also started providing private rooms with attached washroom facility. A large number of hostels are now providing a range of amenities such as free Wi-Fi, food and beverages, daily cleaning facilities, etc. Earlier, hostel travellers had to pay additional charges to avail of these services and facilities. Another important benefit of hostels that has been introduced recently is that they are designed considering the social needs of the travellers. To attract a large number of travellers, most of the hostels are particularly designing common areas for social events, parties, and activities so that travellers get adequate opportunities to socialise with each other.
Considering that these hostel facilities are most likely to be availed by the youth, a large number of hostels make sure that they have a good presence on the internet. Majority of youngsters book their hotels online, and this is the precise reason that hostels are now digitally capable like any other plush hotel. Like the hotel industry, hostels with service-level consistency are also focussing on creating a chain of hostels.
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Hostel Marketplace: Drivers and Restraints
Online channels are the main driving factor for the growth of hostel marketplaces. More than 70% of bookings are made through online travel agencies which is increasing the growth of the hostel marketplace sector. Leaving behind its old concept which used to provide only bunk-bed options, hostels today are providing private rooms with vibrant bars with cocktails, yoga classes and luxurious interior designs. This is creating robust development in hostel marketplace sector. Shifting customer base is also creating good business environment for the hostel marketplace sector to grow. Not only youth but now travellers above 50 years of age are also turning up to stay in hostels. The increasing craze about solo trips is also creating a favourable environment for the growth and development of the hostel marketplace sector. Solo travellers mostly prefer pocket friendly places to stay, which is further boosting the hostel marketplace sector. However, inadequate awareness and misconceptions are the major restraints that are likely to hamper the growth of the hostel marketplace sector.
Hostel Marketplace: Outlook
Most hostel owners have realised that visual appeal is important considering the growth of the hostel marketplace sector. Most of the hostels are now using an online marketing strategy that can create a promising future for the hostel marketplace sector. Use of social media and a leverage on local search optimisation will further create a positive impact on the hostel marketplace sector. The idea of hostel marketplaces will particularly flourish in the U.S due to the increasing need for a social atmosphere and to meet more people than is possible in a traditional hotel setup.
Companies Providing Hostel Facilities
Hostelworld, Hostelling International, Green Tortoise Hostel, London Backpackers, Newquay Backpackers, and Canada Hostels are some of the leading hostels across the world that provide accommodation and all the necessary amenities to global travellers at reasonable rates.
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