STR expands benchmarking platform to hostel industry

HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee and LONDON—STR has leveraged its more than three decades as the leader in hotel industry benchmarking to bring a first-of-its-kind data and analytics platform to the hostel industry. Data from that platform shows mixed performance in London and Amsterdam as of June 2018.

“STR’s approach to benchmarking this rapidly growing segment of the accommodation industry maintains the same standard of accuracy, integrity and confidentiality for which we are renowned in the global hotel industry,” said Patrick Mayock, STR’s senior director of research & development. “This platform was customized for the hostel industry with the support, feedback and guidance of operators in the space. A successful pilot study over the last year-plus has allowed us to validate methodology and key performance indicators for a sector that has seen a massive increase in investment over the past decade.”

London was the first market where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample to provide a Hostel Destination Report. The report from June showed that London hostel occupancy increased slightly by 0.1% to 82.8% during the first half of 2018.

At the same time, average daily rate (ADR) was down 9.0% to GBP19.21, leading to a revenue per available bed (RevPAB) decrease of 9.1% to GBP15.91.

“The first half of the year proved to be challenging for London’s hostel operators, mirroring the performance softening in the broader accommodations landscape,” Mayock said. “However, a difficult-to-match comparison period from early 2017, which was lifted by the post-Brexit demand rush, is no doubt factoring into the equation.”

Mayock also notes that challenges in pushing bed revenue has carried over to space utilization. Total revenue per available square metre (TrevPASM) was down 4.6% to GBP3.17 during the first six months of the year. For the 12 months ending with June 2018, TrevPASM was up 1.4% to GBP2.77.

The operating landscape was more positive in Amsterdam, where bed ADR was up 7.9% to €39.34 through the first half of the year, thanks in part to a 14.2% jump in June. RevPAB, meanwhile, was up 8.5% to €35.36 through June.

“I have been an avid user of STR for as long as I can remember,” said Nuno Sacramento, COO for Safestay. “It is a fundamental tool in the hotel market. Others have attempted to deliver the same service, but STR definitely stands out. A year ago I made a transition to hostels, and lo and behold there was STR to be relied upon. In London, for instance, the market is saturated with a high degree of volatility. We are high performers as much as the next operator, but I owe my sanity to the transparent, verified, easy-to-read data that STR publish every 20th of the month. At that time of the month I can again pat myself on the back; with the context of the total market, I am reassured that we are still ahead.”

“STR’s benchmarking has given us valuable insight into the performance of our hostels in the London market,” said Paul Hayward, commercial analyst for the Youth Hostel Association (YHA). “The data they have provided has helped guide the way in how we manage pricing at our London hostels by showing us market trends and letting us benchmark our own performance. Considering the issues over the past year around terrorism and changing customer trends, this information has given us confidence in our decisions and been a great help in understanding how our trading has been affected by these events.”

Following London and Amsterdam, STR is targeting a sufficient reporting sample in markets such as Berlin, Edinburgh and Miami. If interested in participating and receiving free market intelligence reports, please contact Patrick Mayock at pmayock@str.com.

The move into the hostel industry is the latest in STR’s international growth and expansion into additional market sectors. In addition to maintaining the world’s largest hotel data reporting sample (nearly 62,000 hotels and more than 8.2 million hotel rooms), the company has implemented its data benchmarking services into the U.S. self-storage industry.

About STR

STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. For more information, please visit str.com.