Skift Take

Will pent-up demand for budget travel override concerns about packing six or eight vacationers into a hostel room? Hostelworld reported an uptick in bookings, but this sector is obviously not ideally positioned.

Youth hostels in Europe have seen very modest growth in bookings in the past few weeks, but the Americas, Asia and Oceania remain very depressed due to COVID-19, leading hostel booking platform Hostelworld said on Wednesday.

The Dublin-based company which operates one of the largest booking websites for budget accommodation said: “This recovery started with very modest growth in domestic bookings in June, and more recently has progressed to very modest growth in domestic and short-haul bookings into Europe.”

But the group also said markets in the Americas, Asia and Oceania continue to remain very depressed.

The company said it estimated that 9% of the 17,700 hostels listed on its platforms at the end of last year had closed down as of the end of June.

There were 15% fewer hostels offering availability for the next seven days than there were at the end of last year, the company said in an investor presentation.

Hostelworld’s total net bookings fell 67% in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period last year. Net revenue was down 69% to 12 million euros, it said.

Chief Executive Office Gary Morrison said he expected the recovery to improve further in the second half of the year though with bookings at significantly reduced levels compared to 2019.

Cancellation rates have fallen as consumer certainty with respect to their travel plans improved, he said in a statement.

There has been “only a slight shift to date” in customers opting for private rooms rather than dorm accommodation, due to the pandemic, he added.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries. Editing by Jane Merriman)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Tags: earnings, europe, hostels, hostelworld

Photo credit: The Alfriston Hostel in Polegate, East Sussex, UK as seen on April 24, 2010. Hostelworld reported an uptick in bookings for the second quarter. Andrew Bowden /

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