Hostels: The Hot New Market
By Jackson Thilenius Principal, Retail Design Collaborative | December 30, 2018
With the rise of the sharing economy and the exponentially expanding competitive set within the hostel sector, the hospitality industry has been going through a number of dramatic shifts over the last few years. Brands like Airbnb and Uber, in particular, have revolutionized the way we travel, and continue to influence and inspire the development of new peer-to-peer platforms.
The Influence of AirBnB
Born from the simple plan to make a few bucks to pay rent, Airbnb has become a global phenomenon. With hotel rooms in San Francisco at a premium due to a large design conference in town, founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky decided to turn their loft into a bed and breakfast that could cater to the young professionals seeking an alternative for overnight accommodations. The concept of providing "the basics" at a discounted price turned Airbnb into an industry giant worth in excess of $25 billion. With over four million listings in more than 190 countries, Airbnb's influence and relevance go far beyond that of most traditional hotel brands. Shockingly, this is not a new idea. My grandmother used to tell me stories about how traveling preachers in the 1800s would be provided accommodations on sleeping porches as they passed through rural towns. And youth hostels have been doing it since the early 1900s. It's not surprising then, that the growth of the hostel market space is primed for the millennial mindset of capturing value, and trading perceived luxury for experience.
Amenities, such as private phone booths, provide some much-needed privacy in an otherwise communal environment.