Alternative Guest Segments: How to target ‘flashpackers’ at your hotel

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Flashpackers arriving at a hotel

Flashpacker is not a new term and the travellers defined by it are not new entities.

For a number of years this trend has abounded, having an impact on many different accommodation types. It’s a market that more hotels can attract if they promote their property in the right way.

Let’s take a look at who they are and what they look for from a hotel.

What is a flashpacker?

Exactly what it sounds like, a flashpacker is a variation of a backpacker who wants to get the best of both worlds. Traditionally, backpackers like to travel light, stay at very affordable accommodation, such as a hostel, and spend a lot of time socialising with other travellers.

Rooms are often shared and quite small depending on how much budget they have, but there is usually a large communal space like a kitchen or lounge where people can convene and swap stories or share experiences. The hostel is usually imbued with a design and theme directed toward millennials – the most common demographic for backpacking.

Flashpackers are slightly different. They might still be young but they may also be older generations looking to relive the fun of their youth, without the shared sleeping arrangements.

Flashpackers want the backpacking experience with the luxury of a comfortable hotel. While they want the convivial atmosphere, they also want some quiet downtime.

Flashpackers have largely emerged due to the changing face of accommodation. Many hostels are becoming more upmarket to cater for more than just students, and subsequently pursue a more profitable business.

The line between hostels and hotels is starting to blur.

How to attract flashpackers to your hotel

While hostels may have created a new market with their evolution, there’s no reason why a flashpacker can’t stay at your hotel.

Here are the best ways to entice flashpackers:

  • Create a social environment
    This is one of the key considerations for travellers who enjoy backpacking. Social interaction often appeals just as much as price. Try to promote your hotel as a social hub by maximising the potential for communal space or hosting social evenings in the bar. Think creatively, perhaps you could host a trivia night with restaurant vouchers for the winners.
  • Give them freedom
    Often flashpackers will want to operate on their own schedule, coming and going at various times. Make sure they have unrestricted access to all of your amenities. Consider putting on buffet meals included in the price.
  • Refresh your design
    One thing that excites travellers about hostels is that they’re theme is often very unique, energetic, and engaging. It makes a guest feel good to stay in a place that is both cool and comfortable. Think about your artwork, the colour of your paintjobs or wallpaper, and the furniture you use. Will it attract adventurous, sociable guests? Are your spaces bland or thought-provoking?

Remember that some flashpackers are people that travelled when they were younger and they want to do it again with less chaos this time around.

Even these small adjustments can create a flood of new business to your hotel, attracting a new breed of backpackers who are willing and able to pay more for the experience.


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