Competition in the international backpacker hostelry industry : cross comparison in the top five backpackers’ destinations (London, Barcelona, Dublin, Paris and Rome) to find out how well is Isaacs Hostel (Dublin, Ireland) performing?

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Lemaresquier, Coralie
Issue Date
MSc in International Business
Dublin Business School
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This research focuses on the competition in the international backpacker hostel industry. My interest was first raised when I began working in Isaacs Hostel as a receptionist in 2007. The fact is that everyone knows the word hostel, but very little literature and research is available on exploring the trends and customer base for this industry. The objective of this report is to carry out a cross comparison in the Top Five backpacking destinations (London, Barcelona, Dublin, Paris and Rome) to find out how well one Hostel, Isaacs Hostel (Dublin, Ireland) is performing? The aim is to find out what decision making criteria backpackers use when choosing a hostel and what competitive advantages the hostels have located in various cities. Then, we should be able to see if Isaacs Hostel meets the decision making criteria and if it is aligned with the international competition. To reach these objectives, secondary research has been used to detail the international hostelry industry and its strategic situation. But, the majority of research is primary research. It has been undertaken with a critical realist and pragmatic approach. Questionnaires have been made and self-administered to international travellers staying in hostels in London, Barcelona, Dublin, Paris and Rome and to travellers staying at Isaacs Hostel. Interviews have also been made with Sharon Clerkin the General Manager of Isaacs Hostel to highlight the current strategic orientation in place at Isaacs Hostel. The findings show that hostels are more attractive when they have a good location and cheaply priced accommodation and I pose to prove that Isaacs hostel meets these criteria. It has also been demonstrated that Isaacs Hostel is performing well in the international industry as it benefits from the same advantages and also has a Unique Selling Point (i.e. some people decide to stay at Isaacs Hostel when they see the place walking around the city). Some suggestions have been made so that Isaacs hostel can improve and maintain its advantages on the long term run.