Backpackers love to travel and recent statistics from leading budget online travel provider Hostelworld.com show that the summer of 2007 was their busiest yet.
Hostelworld.com’s Chief Marketing Officer, Niamh N’ Mh’r speaking today from the annual WYSTC conference in Istanbul said “Summer has always been a busy time of year for us, but this year we have exceeded all our targets and managed to come out on top once again, breaking records week after week. Overall bookings increased from this time last year, and almost 5M backpackers have slept soundly with Hostelworld.com so far in 2007. While we have seen steady growth in all our top destinations such as London, Dublin, Barcelona and New York, other destinations such as Dubrovnik, Hong Kong, Seville, Grenada and Athens are giving them a run for their money. Backpackers lead the pack on the undiscovered destinations, where they go, mainstream travel soon follows.”
The weak US dollar has failed to impact US backpackers with Americans increasingly viewing hostels as the logical choice for seeing the world and they remain the top bookers along with the English and Australians. However, there has been considerable growth from other nationalities including Brazilians and South Koreans. The Hostelworld.com website is now available in 22 languages ranging from Latvian and Russian to Korean, Chinese and Japanese which obviously makes it easier for international customers to book online.
Ni Mhir commented “Further afield, South America showed the largest percentage growth this summer, with Peru coming out as the backpackers’ favourite destination. Asia also saw continued growth with booking numbers at more than twice last year’s, in particular into Vietnam and China. With the impending Beijing Olympics in 2008, we are expecting further growth in China. We foresaw the potential of the Asian market in 2006 and set up an office in Shanghai to capitalise on the growing popularity among travellers to Asia.”
Hostelworld.com remains the top destination for youth and student travellers planning trips abroad. In addition to hostel booking facilities for more than 15,000 hostels, the site offers a travel network, travel podcasts, free pocket guides and more than 1 million user reviews from previous bookers.