The cash register may not ka-ching, nor is there a shower of balloons, bunting, and a fawning store manager, but reaching the 1,000,000th customer mark is just as exciting for online companies, too.
It’s a notch that HostelBookers.com will make next week - just three years after its launch - confirming phenomenal growth for the low-cost accommodation company that helps budget-conscious travellers find places to sleep the world over.
The team at HostelBookers.com - now over 50 strong - expects to reach the milestone towards the end of next week; with the smart money on October 4th.
Where the booking will be for is less easy to predict. The top five destinations on HostelBookers.com are London, New York, Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona (each receiving over 10,000 accommodation searches in any given month) but with 10,000 hostels in over 2,500 worldwide locations there’s a strong chance it could be somewhere much more obscure. Madawaska, Progreso, anyone?
The low-cost accommodation market has boomed in recent years thanks to firms like HostelBookers.com making life simple for everyone involved. Its commitment to ensuring quality throughout its network of low-cost hostels, B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels has been a driving force behind this growth.
The demographic of hostellers has also changed significantly in recent years. While backpackers and adventure travellers continue to make up a good part of the customer mix, the continual rise in low-cost accommodation standards has won many converts who refuse to pay for the frills and waste associated with higher priced accommodation. This has been particularly true it seems with couples and friends booking city breaks in major European and North American destinations.
HostelBookers.com’s General Manager, David Smith, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this milestone in the company’s development. We’ve seen the sector change a great deal over the last few years and we’re very proud to have played a part in bringing that about. Low cost accommodation has really come on leaps and bounds and with weekend city breaks becoming increasingly popular, it’s great that there’re now very decent alternatives to breaking the bank at major hotel chains.
“We don’t mind a little extravagance, though. We’re looking closely to see who that 1,000,000th customer will be, and while there won’t be balloons and bunting, they may well find a bottle of champagne in their room on arrival.”