The latest buzz in the hostel sector is about 'creating the right vibe'

The hotel and hostel markets have been key growth sectors for chapmanbdsp over the last few years. The engineering and design consultancy practice is currently working with some of the world’s biggest hotel chains as well as the Youth Hostel Association on its new flagship property in east London.

Below, Lucy Scott, board director at chapmanbdsp, reports on the latest hostel trends being discussed at the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), which is taking place in Berlin this week.

‘One of the many fascinating talks at the IHIF in Berlin was hearing the latest insights in the hostel market – and for those thinking about developing or refurbishing the number one takeaway was that it is vital to create the right ‘vibe’ for the guest on arrival.

A central location used as a launch-pad to explore is still the crucial factor for both developers and travellers alike, but there is now also a real emphasis on public areas in and around hostels.

With greater use of social media and technology, guests seek out the best places to connect and share experiences, so creating an amazing social space is very important – and good design and lighting is a really good way to stand out from the competition.

The good news is that while the market remains fragmented, the latest and limited available data shows that users place experience over value and are willing to spend to secure the right place.

The sector demographic remains the same with hostels still dominated by 18 to 24-year-old guests, though a pleasing trend is that guests aged 25 and over are willing to spend more for the right environment. 

Food and beverage remains vital to any offering and the message coming out of the conference was that guests want simple, fresh and local food.

In terms of design, flexibility is the key, future-proofing a building and the ability to convert any type of building being an advantage. 
The debate over hostel versus hotel continues, but with lower FF&E, maintenance and cap expenditure costs hostels are a good way for developers to seek an early return on investment.

In a sector where things change rapidly, it was noted that hostels require a lower number of full time employees and have higher occupancy rates within their first few weeks of opening ensuring a quicker ramp-up period.’

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The latest buzz in the hostel sector is about 'creating the right vibe'