In the early 2000s a new group or shall we say a developed group of backpacker travelers emerged – the flashpackers. On average they were a bit older, more affluent and had more disposable income than the traditional backpackers, but they still stayed in the budget accommodations in their chosen destination. During their trips they spent excessively and freely on other activities.
Today all backpackers are flashpackers. And the old-fashioned traveler without cell phone, laptop, tablet and high-end camera is a bird of paradise. The new generation is still interested to meet local people, experience the culture and native life and also carry around a whole load of high-tech equipment to be fully connected with their friends and families back home at all times and anywhere.
Naturally accommodations adapt. There is hardly any place – budget or luxury – that won’t provide wifi access. Hostels are morphing into mini-hotels or poshtels (posh and hostel) accommodating more groups and travelers who seek social experiences. AirBnB is a fierce competitor that now also offers experiences and tours in addition to a room or a home away from home.
In the last year, Asia has seen a 42% increase in these upscale hostels with the biggest growth in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam according to C9 Hotelworks trend report. Currently this category has about 1,200 properties and more than 52,000 guest beds.
The new generation of travelers is looking for more comfort and convenience in their accommodations and the travel industry transforms the traditional hotels into places where unique experiences happen.