How are millennials influencing online distribution for hostels?

Hostels are getting more popular among leisure and business travelers alike by the day. Today’s young, curious and open-minded travelers are looking for low cost and adventurous alternatives to travelling. The younger generations (Millennials, Gen Y & Z) have already replaced the baby boomer generation as the most important source for both leisure and business travelers. This shift has created a good business environment for the hostel industry to grow and succeed.

Hostels tend to attract younger groups of customers. The growing number of young travelers in the market creates a higher demand for this lodging product. This shows in the fact that a number of leading hostel-only OTAs have already emerged from the current marketplace:

How Millennials are Influencing Online Distribution of the Hostel Industry

The online travel industry is a great environment to capitalize your hostel network. Technology makes it possible to operate nearly solo in a major marketplace. Hostels gain popularity due to efforts from appropriate marketing channels like Hostelworld and Hostelling International. Especially by focussing on the hostels only; those channels help target the individual travelers. Although the major hotel OTAs do not fully focus on the hostel industry yet, they do not ignore the hostel market and are adapting by investing in innovation like mobile, email campaigns and SEO.


How Millennials are Influencing Online Distribution

The hostel business and its online distribution is growing just as fast as the changing needs of its customers. Today’s hostel accommodation adds comfort by offering extra facilities like Wi-Fi access, chargers, towel packages, daily cleaning service and even mini supermarkets. The change in customer needs also shows in the fact that private rooms are becoming more and more popular. The Hostel Trend Report of Hostelworld showed that 9 in 10 hostels have private rooms in addition to dorm or shared rooms. There are even more private rooms than dorms per hostel.

The growing success of the hostel industry

These changes bring some challenges when it comes to the distribution of rooms and beds combined or separately into a PMS and/or in translation to the OTAs. Focused on integrated technology solutions SmartHOTEL has noticed those challenges and has designed a new way of online distribution that revolutionises the hostel Industry.


Innovation: SmartHOTEL and Suite8 Property Bed Management solutions

Together with Oracle Hospitality, SmartHOTEL has crowned its Oracle Gold partnership by developing a Channel Management solution that seamlessly integrates with the Suite8 Property Bed Management servicing Hostels and Campuses, managing their specific needs for their complex and unique operations by:

  • Managing the core distribution of bed types including gender, age and bed types
  • Dynamic delivery: covering the combination of bed and room type reservation delivery
  • The possibility to sell and manage beds and rooms together or beds in rooms separately

 Learn more about our Channel Mangement solution for Hostels and Campuses.


About SmartHOTEL
For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.

By Marijke Remmelzwaan | April 28, 2017

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