Backpacker hostels in NSW flatlining despite growth in visitor nights spent in the state

Backpacker hostels in New South Wales are losing market share to long-stay accommodation providers according to analysis of the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) by Industry & Investment NSW.  

According to the IVS, New South Wales welcomed almost 458,500 backpackers in the year ending June 30 2010, an increase of 3.9 per cent year on year, with an average length of stay of 29.8 nights meaning total visitor nights of almost 13.7 million.

However, ‘rented accommodation/apartment/unit/flat’ is the most popular accommodation type used with 37.8 per cent of nights, followed by ‘backpacker/hostel’ (33.5 per cent) and ‘home of friend or relative’ (12.5 per cent).

Looking at the figures since 2006, while non-backpacker accommodation has seen year-on-year growth, the hostel segment has remained largely flat (click here to view graph).

Industry & Investment NSW senior analyst Jill Whitehouse representing TNSW, a business division of I&I NSW, said the increasing popularity of the working holiday visa was not being reflected in the hostel sector.

She added: “The decline in market share for backpacker accommodation in NSW is being caused by the growth of the long-staying working holiday market, which is a some time user of backpacker accommodation, however they spend a higher percentage of their nights in rental accommodation.”

The analysis shows the UK to be the largest source market to NSW at 22.2 per cent, followed by Germany (10.9 per cent), the USA (10.1 per cent), Scandinavia (6.5 per cent), France (6.2 per cent) and Korea (5 per cent).

The IVS defines a backpacker as an international visitor who spent one or more nights in a backpacker or youth hostel during their stay in Australia.

For the full analysis, click here.

For a timeline and breakdown of backpacker market share by state, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>