New Report Finds Youth Mobile Use On The Rise


STAY (Safe Travel Accommodation for Youth) WYSE Association has launched its seventh annual survey on youth travel accommodation trends. STAY WYSE is the global trade body for the youth travel accommodation sector, and its new industry report is based on a survey of 2,231 Youth Travel Accommodation (YTA) operations across 100 countries and includes findings across all aspects affecting the industry, from the average size and rates of properties to the social media habits and booking styles of their guests.

One of the report’s most significant findings concerned the changes to booking trends, with lead times coming down since the organization’s previous report. Half of bookings are now made between one and three weeks in advance compared to the previous figure of 36% while the figures for bookings made less than a week in advance remain stable at less than one fifth.

At the same time, fewer bookings are now made between one and three months in advance with these figures down from a third to 22%. However, the report indicates a close relationship between the length of stay and the lead time for bookings with those making shorter stays also tending to have much shorter booking lead times.

When it comes to guests, the main age targeted by youth travel accommodation (YTA) operators is 25-34 years (61%). However, 10% of YTA properties are now aimed at the flash-packer market aged 35 or older, with bed and breakfast operators most likely to make up this market. Business travellers, meanwhile, make up 11% of guests and groups account for 17% of business.

In terms of revenue, third party web sites are playing an increasingly important role in this sector, with 29% of hostel bookings now being made via these channels.

When it comes to technology, it is perhaps unsurprising that the 28% of respondents who have developed mobile applications or ensured their sites are mobile-friendly report the largest number of bookings via mobile sources.

David Chapman, director general of WYSE Travel Confederation, said, “With a third of young travellers now using their smart phones when planning their holiday and lead times shrinking as online booking becomes easier, it’s increasingly important that the youth travel accommodation sector keeps up with the consumer’s technological demands.”

Chapman continued, “Whilst we are finding that our members are increasingly spurred to be active on social media channels, just a third of our respondents indicate that they are active on social media of which 90% of these use Facebook and 43% Twitter. Our survey therefore suggests that the future of our industry will depend on smaller establishments embracing this trend as much as the larger operations.”

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