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Credit crunch sees hostels turn from bleak to chic

  • No longer are hostels the drab, sparsely furnished dormitories of yester year. Hostels have finally come of age. Previously a secret confined to those in the know, the general public are now catching on that hostels have turned from bleak to chic.

  • The credit crunch is largely responsible for this realisation as consumers frantically search for ways to holiday without blowing the budget. Hostelworld.com has seen an increase in bookings to cheaper destinations including China, Thailand, Argentina and Brazil. There is also a considerable increase in travellers heading down under to Australia and New Zealand to enjoy the better climate and wait until the recession ends.

  • You see, hostels nowadays rival boutique hotels in terms of facilities and location. Many hostels offer private rooms, ensuites, pools and free internet, bars and restaurants and a unique social experience unmatched by hotels.

  • And contrary to popular belief, hostels are not just for the 20-something backpacker. Families are booking in because they combine a sense of adventure with comfort and safety. Older holiday-makers and so-called ‘grey-gappers’ also stay in hostels because they offer prime city and resort locations at a fraction of hotel prices.

  • As a testament to this growing trend and change in people’s perceptions of hostels we have launched a campaign to redefine the word “hostel”, which many of the popular dictionaries refer to as “shelters for the homeless”, a “supervised lodging for students and nurses” or “supervised lodging for young people on bicycle trips”*.

  • Letters have been sent to all the major English dictionaries including Oxford, Collins, Chambers and Random House. More than 1,200 people have signed a petition supporting the campaign to redefine “hostel”. Hostelworld.com also surveyed more than 2,500 people, 79% of whom agreed the dictionary definitions are out of date.

  • The term ‘hostel’ comes from the Latin ‘hospes’ for guests and has been applied to lodging houses of all standards throughout the ages. It became synonymous with cheap, no-frills accommodation after the war when youth hostelling became popular and into the 1960s when students needed affordable rooms while travelling around Europe on tight budgets.

  • No longer are hostels the drab, sparsely furnished dormitories of yester year. Hostels have finally come of age. Previously a secret confined to those in the know, the general public are now catching on that hostels have turned from bleak to chic.

  • The credit crunch is largely responsible for this realisation as consumers frantically search for ways to holiday without blowing the budget. Hostelworld.com has seen an increase in bookings to cheaper destinations including China, Thailand, Argentina and Brazil. There is also a considerable increase in travellers heading down under to Australia and New Zealand to enjoy the better climate and wait until the recession ends.

  • You see, hostels nowadays rival boutique hotels in terms of facilities and location. Many hostels offer private rooms, ensuites, pools and free internet, bars and restaurants and a unique social experience unmatched by hotels.

  • And contrary to popular belief, hostels are not just for the 20-something backpacker. Families are booking in because they combine a sense of adventure with comfort and safety. Older holiday-makers and so-called ‘grey-gappers’ also stay in hostels because they offer prime city and resort locations at a fraction of hotel prices.

  • As a testament to this growing trend and change in people’s perceptions of hostels we have launched a campaign to redefine the word “hostel”, which many of the popular dictionaries refer to as “shelters for the homeless”, a “supervised lodging for students and nurses” or “supervised lodging for young people on bicycle trips”*.

  • Letters have been sent to all the major English dictionaries including Oxford, Collins, Chambers and Random House. More than 1,200 people have signed a petition supporting the campaign to redefine “hostel”. Hostelworld.com also surveyed more than 2,500 people, 79% of whom agreed the dictionary definitions are out of date.

  • The term ‘hostel’ comes from the Latin ‘hospes’ for guests and has been applied to lodging houses of all standards throughout the ages. It became synonymous with cheap, no-frills accommodation after the war when youth hostelling became popular and into the 1960s when students needed affordable rooms while travelling around Europe on tight budgets.


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