As tourism professionals from around the world gathered for the first day of the industry’s leading trade show, WYSE Travel Confederation hosted the first in our series of six thought-provoking youth travel workshops.
Joining us on our stand this afternoon to discuss the ongoing debate over whether bigger or smaller establishments flourish most within the youth travel sector was Professor Greg Richards.
Professor Richards revealed that, whilst larger youth accommodation providers tend to be more popular with younger age groups, older age groups and business travellers still favour smaller establishments.
David Chapman, WYSE Travel Confederation’s Director General, said: “The age-old issue of size is something that will continue to divide opinion across the industry and travellers alike. However, from a purely financial perspective, we know that three quarters of revenue comes from bed sales which could make larger properties appear a more lucrative option from an operational perspective.
“However, as hostels continue to compete strongly in the hotel space and young travellers’ demand for affordable and stylish accommodation options in the centre of the action shows no sign of slowing, the one thing that isn’t in doubt is this sector’s potential to grow sizeably.”
The workshop attendees went on to discuss how smaller establishments should develop their strategy to increase average revenues and whether customers could be retained if prices are simply increased.
Other key findings revealed at the topical workshop included:
- Continental divide: North America continues to have the highest number of beds per establishment (118), followed by Oceania (99) and Western Europe (97). Latin America, meanwhile, has the lowest (39), closely followed by Africa (40) and Eastern Europe (43).
- Bigger all round: Larger accommodation providers report higher bed occupancies, higher bed rates and higher average revenues.
- Independent struggle: Smaller operations – defined as those with under 100 beds – remain more reliant than their larger counterparts on third party bookings, namely Booking.com, Hostelworld.com and HostelBookers.
- Mobile connections: Smaller lodging providers report a significantly higher number of bookings (nearly 6%) through mobile phones compared to big properties (just 2%) despite only 28% of them having developed a mobile application.
WYSE Travel Confederation will continue to host 30-minute workshops on its stand – #106 in Hall 4.1 – throughout the exhibition on topics ranging from the decline of the backpacker and the rising spending power of Chinese youth travellers to the forecasted growth of mobile bookings and the changing face of social media.
All results come from our forthcoming 7th annual STAY WYSE survey which will be launched in the coming weeks.