Hostels are currently a big thing in the US Hospitality industry, and frankly, all over the Americas and Europe. This faze has gone beyond the domain of young students seeking anywhere other than a dorm - travelers now prefer inexpensive hostels where they can enjoy the unique experience of shared living as part of their overall adventure.
Now, there are a lot of trends in the hostel industry, but it would be good for you to have a brief background on some concepts about hostel management because these trends focus on the management side of things, and frankly, management is our area of expertise.
Big hotels are delving into hostel services because of the promise it holds in the nearest future. You may be deciding to go into hostel management, or already in it, so you probably know a bit about managing a hostel. A hostel is basically a property, or group of properties for the sole purpose of temporarily housing tenants, designed like a student dorm, and from popular opinion, fairly easy to maintain.
Read more: Hostel Room Layout Plan And Design Tips
Hostels are shared by default. That means a tenant will most likely be spending their stay with total strangers which gives it a unique experience compared to private hotel rooms. Management of such a shared facility may be easier or harder if you consider the background of the organization running it. A primarily hostel-service based business will have an easy time managing a hostel, while a hotel or other hospitality business won’t. It is far easier to take the expected tenants into consideration and adjust the facilities to suit their collective needs.
The trends in the hostel industry cover the collective needs of tenants and what tools many successful hostels currently implement to ensure they get things right.
Trends in the Hostel Industry
1. Hostel Management Systems
Most subsequent trends will be a subset of the Hotel Management system, as most innovations and trends gravitate towards digital technology.
A Hostel Management System features a set of digital tools that makes management an efficient, time-saving task. With a hotel management system, establishments can drastically reduce workload without having to compromise productivity. It increases productivity, actually, but we will cover it in subsequent trends.
Furthermore, a hotel management system allows for a more organized workflow and easier collaboration between departments. That’s a huge advantage if you consider the current model of data collection and collaboration in various establishments worldwide. It’s a move in the direction as it forces administrators to be more organized.
2. Reservation Management
Sites like Booking.com made the concept of booking reservations extremely popular for hotels. Guests could now log in, book a stay, and get the order received by the hotel administration. With the popularity of the hostel industry, reservations are becoming popular as well, hence the reservation management.
Reservation management simply gives the hostel administrator a way to manage the orders getting to the establishment. This could be done the old way, for example, big record books, or Excel documents. Those methods of reservation management have been shown to be ineffective.
The modern way of handling reservations is through reservation management systems. Usually bundled with a Hostel Management system, they provide a means to retrieve reservations from major booking sites (this is done with the help of a Channel Manager) and log them in the system. In that way, the administrator only needs to log into one system and access all reservations.
3. Payment Processing
Paying for hostel stays has improved over time. Currently, the trend is to connect the entire model of the hostel data to a POS (Point Of Sale) system, giving the establishment a way to receive payments, process them, and log them for future reference. These POS systems come bundled in hardware and software collections, with the software acting as an interface for payment processing and also logs generation.
Also, it makes it easier for the guests, as they don’t have to go through complicated payment procedures to earn a stay in the establishment. Better customer satisfaction and payment organization all at once.
4. Accounting Systems
Hostels-providing establishments have moved from the traditional bookkeeping methods to a more organized, smarter format - an accounting system.
Often preferred as an extension to the Hostel Management System, the accounting system provides a way to keep a verbose record of all the financial information on the establishment. It is also a way to reduce dependencies on third-party tools and keep everything in-house.
An accounting system can also be connected to the Payment system mentioned above; in that way any payment processed will be automatically sent to the accounting systems as part of the financial record.
This seamless, autonomous transfer of crucial data leads us to our next item - Automation;
Automation is such a big deal nowadays. Everyone wants a piece of the action, including the hostel industry. The more processes are accurately automated, the more money and time is saved. From the previous item (Accounting), we could see a small example of automation, when payment is automatically processed, and data is sent to the accounting system for further processing and storage - all without the administrator’s action.
Automation can be useful in major aspects of hostel administration, and make life easier for all levels of staff. Most Hostel Management systems offer automation features, where the administrator is given the option to automate a specific part of the business process. When done correctly, it gives peace of mind and frees up more time for more creative, human-oriented tasks.
6. Customer Relationship Management
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is an important tool in hostel management today. Basically, a CRM system helps the administrator manage every customer of the establishment. This includes personal information, preferences, communication channels, and others. Such a system helps the establishment to create a highly personalized stay-in experience for the customer, leading to a better satisfaction rate and consequently, increased patronage.
Businesses with an efficient CRM system have better relationships with their customers, and in the hostel industry, where customer relationships mean a whole lot, a CRM system is an absolute necessity.
So, what’s the whole point of this?
To get you thinking in the right direction. The above six(6) trends are much more than just trends; they are important tools to feature in your hostel administrative process. When considering efficient hostel administration, implementing them is a good step on the right path, which will give you a competitive advantage.
This would be a good time to tell you about the Booking Ninjas system. Our Hostel-based management system combines all the above features and more. With our experience in the hospitality industry, we know what all administrators need for effective management of any hostel establishment, and we are ready to follow you to the point of guaranteed success.
To see more of the solutions we offer, visit here and here. We offer a free, easy to use demonstration so you can see for yourself how much your competitors would be missing out on. To get the demo, submit a request for one and we will get to you in minutes.