|Image courtesy of globalbusiness.travel|
Hostels have a strong relationship with backpackers and student travelers, but recently business travelers have started to take advantage of this cheaper alternative to a hotel when traveling internationally. As someone who has spent some time in Europe as a student traveler, I have stayed in my fair share of hostels and have noticed the diversity in the demographic of those staying in the hostel. Hostels are no longer just a place for backpackers to rest their head before departing on the next leg of their adventure, but are a gathering place for young people, families, and business people alike who are looking for an alternative to expensive hotels in the city center.
In a recent article in The New York Times, "Hostels Gain Popularity With Business Travelers", one man discusses his experience staying in a hostel in Copenhagen that changed how he approaches lodging when traveling abroad. As international travel gains popularity, hostels need to find a competitive advantage to attract more customers; this has led to an increase in the number of amenities offered and an improvement in the facilities. Previously, when you were staying at a hostel you booked a bed in room shared with anywhere from 2-20 strangers, but hostels now offer private rooms and bathrooms. Some of the other amenities offered include free Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and bars with an open atmosphere that is appealing to those traveling alone.
Gone are the days of hostels being solely a backpacker’s heaven. Now when you walk into the lobby of a hostel it would not be uncommon to see business men working on their laptops at the bar next to a group of 20 something’s hunched over a map planning their sightseeing tour.