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1.1 Definition and presentation

Hostels are distinct types of accommodation that date back to the early 20th century. Indeed, the first hostel was reportedly created in Germany in 1912 by Richard Schirrmann, who first transformed free school classes into bunk-bed rooms.

The conceptual and functional significance of youth hostels, however, has much older roots. Indeed, in the Middle Ages, many structures were built to provide rest for pilgrims or travellers. These structures were known as "hospices" - from the Latin word hospitium. In the 1900s, these accommodations, originally known for their hospitable nature, underwent many transformations that brought them closer to the image they have today. The particularity of these accommodations is the sense of sharing: in general, inns have common dormitories and common facilities

Hostels are usually preceded by the word "youth", which reinforces the intrinsic connotation of being designed for young people, hikers or travellers. Notable features include, for example, a common space and an affordable price. Although, since the way of life and travel habits have changed radically over time, hostels have adapted to an ever-changing demand. In Europe and especially in Italy, youth hostels are now flourishing as alternatives to short-term rentals (e. g. Airbnb) or typical hotels, with many features such as private rooms, social events, additional facilities (e. g. swimming pool, coffee lounge), extravagant facilities. [ Cloudbeds ]


1.2 A global market and a European mindset

Phocuswrite estimated the value of the global hotel market in **** at about USD *.* billion. This figure is expected to reach about $*.* billion in ****, with projected growth of ** per cent.

Revenues for hostels World, ****-****, millions of USD Source: ****

According to the **** annual report of Hostelling International Europe has the largest number ...

1.3 An even smaller Italian market

The Italian market for the hostels is still quite small. However, the whole sector of accommodations, hostels included, represents a significant part of the Italian GDP. Indeed, in the last years this sector increase:

PIB direct généré par le tourisme Italie, ****, **** et ****, en % Source: ****

Italian hostels in the ...

1.4 The sector in the face of crisis

The situation

The tourism is in great difficulty. A large part of the hotels are closed, for lack of customers. Italian and foreign demand is reduced for various reasons: travel restrictions, reduced spending capacity, less free time available (***), cancellation of events, reduced public transport capacity. The few hotels in activity are ...


2.1 Overview of the request

Hostels represent a relatively small share of the hotel industry. Despite their reduced presence in the world compared to other accommodation facilities (***), demand for this type of accommodation could benefit from demographic and lifestyle changes

The demand for hostels, like any other accommodation structure, is directly dependent on the following three ...

2.2 Market Determinants

New demographics

Millennials - defined by the Pew Research Center as peopleborn between **** and **** - represent about ** billion people in Italy in ****.[***] This age group is gradually changing their means, modes and travel habits

According to Topdeck travel, **% of Millennials in the U.S. are looking for the experience of living ...

2.3 Lifestyles and consumption habits impacting the hostel market

Individual travel

More and more people are traveling alone. This change is visible around the world, as traditional trips with a single destination are being abandoned in favor of short-term stays in different locations.

Evolution of the "solo travel" trend Italie, juin ****-juin ****, en % Source: ****

The solo travel trend peaked in ...


3.1 Market organization and dynamics

Overview of the hospitality sector

The broader category of hospitality includes all types of accommodation structures, from the most numerous (***). In ****, Italy is the leading European country in terms of the number of accommodation units and second only to France in terms of the number of beds available. [***]. The North East ...

3.2 Distribution: regional preference and booking method

Geographical distribution

Tourism and tourism

As mentioned, the arrival and overnight stay of tourists - both domestic and foreign - are directly correlated with the occupancy rate of inns.

Presence touristique par région Italie, ****, en % Source: ****

Geographically, the tourist concentration of recent years has placed large cities in pole position. ...


4.1 From the initial offer to the luxury concept

The first youth hostel was created in Germany by German professor Schirrmann to provide his students with out-of-town housing. The facility was seen as a place where young people could sleep for little money in exchange for small hosting services

With a rapid increase - about ** years - Germany had more ...

4.2 Essential characteristics for an acceptable budget

Hostels are representative of a specific target consumer: the backpacker. [ Hostelclub This specific orientation of the target consumer is due to its positioning, the original type of accommodation was specifically designed as a social and affordable structure, where travellers can interact and share their experiences as well as the equipment

The ...

4.3 Social networks and influence on the destination

Demographic and social changes in society have contributed to the advent and impact of social networks in the travel industry

The data shows the relevant impact of online messages on housing, location and other decisions. Instagram has indeed helped to perceive differently - through a screen - these images of places, ...

4.4 Alternative offers

Hostels are often included in the broad category of "other accommodation facilities", along with campsites, guest houses, agritourism and others.

Recently, the number of hotels has been reduced in favour of these alternative accommodations. In fact, between **** and ****, the number of hotels gradually decreased. In ****, the number showed a positive variation, ...


5.1 Regional regulation

Hostels, like any other activity or company in Italy, must first comply with local standards and requirements. The space must be adapted to accommodate bedrooms, bathrooms, service rooms and all that is necessary

The classification of accommodation establishments is established in accordance with regional laws. Usually, there are three types of ...

5.2 New regulation post Covid-19: 110% for hostels as well

With the update of article *** and ***, DI **/****, converted into law **/****; article *, paragraphs **-**, law ***/****, of Budget for ****, the Italian government has extended also to hostels the possibility to benefit from the ***% bonus for the energy renovation of the structures.

In fact, hostels can be non-profit foundations or not (***) from the ***% bonus. ...


6.1 Segmentation of actors

  • Generator Hostels
  • PLUS
  • a&o
  • RomeHello
  • Babila Hostel
  • Anda Venice Hostel
  • 5 Terre Backpackers
  • HostelWorld

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