Hostels have long been the dirty word in the hotel and travel industry, but times are certainly changing for the better as the public realise more and more that hostels and youth hostels are a viable means of accommodation when they travel around the globe.
Despite their low price and somewhat bad reputation, many hostels are of a high standard and have great facilities for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy.
The budget travel sector, such as backpackers, gap year travelers and also families wanting multi-location holidays, has boomed in the last few years and is driven to a large extent by word-of-mouth recommendation.
With competition in the industry hotting up and with millions of customers each and every year choosing cheaper, cost-effective accommodation, the standard and reputation of these places are ever-increasing.
The major hostel booking companies also have ratings systems which, not only helps customers to choose the right accommodation, but also helps to push hostel owners to do more to satisfy their customers as their ratings directly affect how much business they will receive from these booking sites.
The most popular hostel destinations are: London, Sydney, Rome, Amsterdam and New York and no matter where in the world you are travelling to, you will find a selection of great accommodation to suit both your taste and your budget.
Despite the arrival of budget hotel chains such as Travellodge, Ibis and Jurys Inns, backpackers still prefer to stay in hostels due to factors such as atmosphere, fun and the social experience of meeting other backpackers.
The hostel industry, once considered a cottage industry has now grown rapidly with the entry of new players opening deluxe hostel chains including The Generator Hostel in London