the youth hostel market


1.1 Definition and scope of study

Youth hostels are establishments generally run by non-profit organisations Nevertheless, new private sector players have recently entered this segment . Youth hostels offer users limited accommodation and meals and/or individual cooking, as well as other services, programmes and activities.

The conceptual and functional significance of youth hostels has much older roots. Indeed, in the Middle Ages, many structures were built with the aim of giving rest to pilgrims or travellers. These structures were known as "hospices" - from the Latin word hospitium. In the 1900s, these accommodations - initially known for their hospitality - 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, the hostels have dormitories and common facilities.

Hostels are usually preceded by the word "youth", which actually increases the intrinsic connotation of being designed for younger people, backpackers or travellers. Some common features are, for example, common space and affordable prices. Although lifestyles and travel habits have changed considerably over time, hostels have adapted to an ever-changing demand.

Youth hostels are booming in Europe today as an alternative type of accommodation for short term rentals (e.g. Airbnb) or typical hotels, with many features such as private rooms, social events, extra facilities (e.g. swimming pool, café), extravagant amenities.

Due to the recent boom in tourism and real estate in Portuguese cities The price of accommodation in the country is also rising, making youth hostels even more attractive as a holiday option for tourists. Domestic players now need to adapt to face competition from international new entrants who wish to further explore the country's tourism potential .

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