Pranav Dangi, Founder, Hosteller

Mr Pranav Dangi is the Founder of Hosteller. He is a passionate traveller and a young entrepreneur, is experienced and self-taught in areas related to budget travel & tourism (backpacking sector) in India. Working for his startup, The Hosteller, since its inception in 2014, he and his team has catered to 400K + travellers from all around the globe and provided services ranging from hospitality, F&B and travel packages. With 1 out of every 4 people travelling in budget and 25% of the 1.3 billion Indians as youth, Pranav sees a huge potential in this segment and is optimistic about the growth of the sector in coming years. Pranav is experienced in the hospitality sector, real estate space utilisation, team development, scaling up startups, co-living/co-working/co-sharing sector and online sales.

 

Over the past few years, new-age millennial and GenZ individuals have displayed an interesting trend in their traveling patterns. They want to see more of the world and have unique experiences, while not necessarily spending a fortune on their escapades. As a result, budget-friendly hostels that are spread across popular and relatively unexplored geographies have become more in demand than ever before. 

During the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of professionals shifted to remote working almost overnight. Amid this change, ‘workations’ came to the fore as individuals chose to work from anywhere in the country. For this, they required a home away from home that offers comfort, amazing views, and a strong Wi-Fi connection. Hostels, again, prevailed as the most suitable option. Here’s looking at some reasons why hostels thrived when work-from-home professionals took to the world. 

Budget Friendly: Hotels, resorts and boutique hotels might be lucrative for a weekend getaway but are definitely not economical for travelers looking for long stays. Hostels have all the modern amenities that workationers need, while capping the budget in a way that is feasible and helpful for modern working professionals. Peace of mind at work should not cost big bucks is the philosophy that backpacker hostels live by.

Exotic Locations: Traditional stays in offbeat locations can become quite expensive, making the possibility of visiting a unique and uncommon location difficult. Backpacker hostels let travelers explore hidden gems and beautiful corners of the country without burning a hole in their pocket or having to save up for months on end.

Slow Travel: More and more youngsters are becoming enveloped in the idea of slow and deliberate travel, where instead of jutting around for 2-4 days and seeing the common attractions – they choose to stay somewhere for 7+ days and really explore the location in depth. Backpacker hostels are best for such travelers because it helps them do this in an economical way and allows them to explore the area with local walks, adventure activities, picnics and day hikes.

Work, Network & Repeat: Young professionals network more at hostels than in hotels. They are able to meet and connect with like minded and creative individuals. Whether it be working together on the weekdays or partying together on the weekends, the ideas never stop.

Community Events: From karaoke and movie nights to late night jungle walks, backpacker hostels have a plethora of community events to bring all the guests together. Same old office hangs are replaced by rich and lively community events that make the experience a lot more friendly and fun. 

No Boundaries: Hostels have workspaces in the form of lounges, gardens, cafeterias, mini libraries, lawns, etc. They are no more tied to their cubicles or cabins. The views are just an added benefit.

Social Facilitation: The tendency to perform the tasks in a much better or faster way in the presence of other workers is social facilitation and this can happen with “community working spaces in hostels”. It can improve the productivity of an individual.

Daily Activities: As they say, health is wealth. To adopt a better lifestyle, hostels have daily morning activities like yoga, walks, etc. scheduled which can boost one’s mental and physical health. With healthy habits, comes better productivity. 

Weekend Getaways/Treks: Backpacker hostels have travel desks that can help workationers spice up their weekends. Whether they are interested in an overnight paragliding trip or a 3-day foray into the higher Himalayas – they can do so with ease and without the fear of missing work on Monday. 

Productivity: The freedom of a ‘workation’ coupled with the creative surge that workationers feel while on long stays is definitely not replicable elsewhere. That is why backpacker hostels often see repeat customers who want to experience that same freedom, fun and openness in their work days that their office days do not provide.

As remote working continues to be the norm amid Omicron-led 3rd wave warnings, the hostel ‘workations’ are likely to stay in demand for the foreseeable future. This gives industry players an opportunity to understand traveler demands and create unforgettable experiences, even during these unprecedented times. 

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