• Posted:Monday, July 27, 2009
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The changing face of hostels

Posted in: Travel
The changing face of hostels
Hostelling has a reputation of being the domain of the young, with the backpacking crowd typically perceived to be young students travelling and sleeping on a budget. While this is of course still true in many ways, hostels are in fact increasingly appealing to a broader range of tastes.

It's something I've observed on my own travels and a trend that has been identified in a piece in the Seattle Times. Writing for the publication, Brian Cantwell suggested that a growing number of private rooms are being provided, as well as multiple-bed rooms that are aimed at families.

The introduction of new technology has been one of the key changes in hostels over recent years, with the arrival of Wi-Fi and other features catering for new flashpacking crowd.

But with an increasingly older clientele being seen in many establishment, Tom Eberhardt - assistant manager of one hostel on Canada's Vancouver Island - told Mr Cantwell that there is a relatively simple explanation.

"A lot of younger people who were backpacking and staying in hostels in the 1960s and '70s are doing it still, only they're older and many are encouraging their children to do it," he said.

And it seems it's not just in North America that this shift is occurring, as World Radio Switzerland has noted that 'youth' hostel is a term not necessarily applicable anymore. It cited figures from the Swiss Youth Hostels Association showing more than 986,000 nights were spent in 59 hostels in the country last year, adding that the budget form of accommodation is "growing in popularity for all ages".

Sam BuckleyADNFCR-2435-ID-19282280-ADNFCR
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