Outlook for Australia’s backpacker and hostel market

Outlook for Australia’s backpacker and hostel market


The tourism market place in Australia, and in specific the backpacker and hostel marketplace, was a single of the most impacted sectors for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of this, the outlook is positive as borders reopen and backpackers commence to pour back again into the region.

The tourism market place in Australia, and in specific the backpacker and hostel industry, was one of the most impacted sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This culminated in a drastic 99{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d} reduction in backpacker entrants as borders slammed shut in early 2020, and the upcoming of the journey and tourism industry confronted sizeable uncertainty.

THE COVID Impression IN Numbers

Traditionally, 250,000 positions are loaded from holidaymaker arrivals and produce about $3.2 billion for the Australian financial system per annum.

With international borders closed, numerous backpacker proprietors and operators noticed their standard guest segments of doing the job holidaymakers visa-holders and worldwide students dwindle, leaving numerous enterprises to rely on domestic backpackers and internationals that remained in Australia over this time.

Persistent state border closures in 2021 put even more occupancy force on several of these operators.

Usually Australia permits citizens of 44 nations to use for doing work holidaymaker (WHM) visas, ordinarily with in excess of 300,000 WHM visa holders entering the place each and every yr. March 2021 saw a mere 160 arrivals land in Australia on these visas and this combined with new international college students halving, meant the visitor pool for backpacker operators across the state had mainly diminished.


This determined several house owners and operators of youth hostels, university student lodging and co-dwelling properties to appear at modern remedies to make certain their properties remained economically feasible. This was highlighted by Youth Hostel Association (YHA) Australia’s latest reinvestment into their brand name, partnering with Atlassian to restore its heritage-detailed backpacker hostel at Sydney’s Central Station. The enhancement will see a revolution in the backpacker room, concentrating on the digital nomad who will be drawn to the neighborhood dynamic tech hub.

This redevelopment displays the evolution of backpackers to flashpackers. These flashpackers or electronic nomads are backpackers with a better spending plan, in search of out a sound online link and frequent places with F&B facilities. Flashpackers effectively bridge the gap among price range journey lodging and 5-star resorts.

The latest rise of operating from house has meant that people can get the job done from anywhere, and quite a few have moved companies to acquire edge of this flexibility and adaptability as digital nomads. With this, we hope this pattern to only expand more well known into the potential and turn into a mainstream lodging presenting.


About the past two yrs, we have witnessed a lot of house owners and operators adapt and transform their providing from focussing on the regular backpacker segment. A fantastic example of this is the new Bounce Noosa, a hybrid vacation resort that gives both of those backpacker fashion and upscale rooms in a contemporary model and environment, tapping into the non-standard domestic backpacker industry.

Some hostels have pivoted throughout this period of time, with the lodging being employed for alternate utilizes, including farm-worker accommodation, as very well as government-backed disaster accommodation and for household use, specified the tightening in the rental sector.

Not all big groups were being ready to go via these complicated conditions unscathed, with the Tourism Adventure Team (TAG) a person of Australia and New Zealand’s largest hostel teams, positioned into voluntary administration in July 2021. The group, which was extremely financially rewarding in the pre-pandemic period reporting a $150 million turnover in 2019, had been pressured to go through Administration, which noticed a restructuring of their 25-location portfolio and various property rebranded out of the team.

THE Start OF THE Restoration & THE Long term OUTLOOK

Current market sentiment for the Australian backpacker market started to change at the end of 2021, after the Federal Government’s announcement of the imminent reopening of the international border. The 21st of February 2022 marked the removing of the final important barrier for vaccinated intercontinental readers into the region and elevated the simply call for backpackers to return to Australian shores as soon as additional.

Since the government’s easing of border limitations starting in late 2021, 80,000 global pupils have arrived in the region with a sizeable 13,500 men and women arriving in the previous week on your own. In line with this, 1000 performing holidaymaker visa holders and backpackers have landed in the past 7 days and in excess of 35,000 WHM visas have been authorised since November.


In a bid to relieve labour shortages and lower disruption to the supply chain, the Federal Government is actively encouraging backpackers and worldwide students back into the region through economic incentives. These incentives include things like waiving operating holidaymaker visa costs for 12 weeks and worldwide pupil visas for 8 weeks from the 19th of January 2022.

In a modern advertising electronic mail despatched by YHA, in which the group usually only sees a click on-as a result of charge of 1{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d}-2{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d}, sent to more than 100,000 backpacker recipients with the tagline of ‘Have you been dreaming of Australia’, additional than 30,000 individuals (30{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d}) experienced opened the email in a matter of hours, demonstrating the sizeable pent-up backpacker demand from customers eager to enter Australia.

Even with the issues faced by the business, need for high-quality hostel assets has remained sturdy. Since the conclude of 2020, 6 YHA property have been bought totalling extra than $40,000,000. These income spotlight buyers can see by way of the demanding market circumstances and are getting a medium to very long expression see recognising the countercyclical prospective in the backpacker and hostel marketplace and will see important gains as borders reopen and backpackers commence to pour again into the country, filling beds and rooms.

CBRE Resorts has just introduced Backpackers by the Bay in preferred vacationer location Airlie Beach, which is established to garner solid desire. Expressions of Desire near on the 24th of March 2022.

The earlier 12 months has also witnessed several major teams enter the market.

  • Drifter Hospitality Team, backed by investment bank Barrenjoey, has partnered with Intrepid Journey, the world’s biggest small-group experience vacation business, amid world wide growth designs to provide hostel accommodation throughout Australia and New Zealand with the intention of obtaining a portfolio worth of $500 million around time.
  • Celebration Hospitality, identified for its Rydges, QT, and Atura resort brand names has also entered the hostel accommodation industry immediately after completing its takeover of New Zealand group Jucy Snooze. The team is recognised for its unique capsule-design sleeping pods. The model underneath its new possession construction has designs for a immediate expansion into the Australian hostel accommodation market place
  • Another main entrant is the worldwide hostel large Selina, who designed their Australian current market entry in 2021 with the Selina Melbourne, a 181-mattress hostel comprising a library, cinema room, eating and kitchen area space, basement bar, and coworking space. The new asset highlights the evolution these groups are creating in hostel lodging offerings and how operators have tailored their assets in latest periods. Selina is also increasing into Queensland, in the previous Base Uptown Brisbane, which shaped component of the TAG Group restructuring.

Kathryn Household
Communications Director
CBRE Hotels


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