List Of Online Travel Agencies For Hostel Owner


Best Online Travel Agencies For Hostel Owner

Have you ever wondered which OTAs the most successful hostels use? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

BE AWARE: This is part of my complete guide about online travel agencies. Make sure to read the full blog!

But before we get to the meat, let me set the record straight.

This is my GENUINE attempt to provide you with an overview of all options out there. As with all well-intended advice, be sure to put your entrepreneurial lenses on and use the parts that make sense for you.

List Of Online Travel Agencies For Hostels

#0 Overview

Best Online Travel Agencies For Hostels

The following list is arranged in the same order – beginning with the OTAs that most hostels use.

Last updated 09/2019

#1 Hostelworld

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

10/10

10/10
  • 100% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Hostelworld.com

II. Effectiveness

10/10

10/10
  • Median review number: 1614 (+1558)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.6 (+0.2)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    178 countries
  • Total listings: 36.000
    17.400 hostels
Hostelworld Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • More than 90% of all hostels worldwide use Hostelworld as a distribution channel
  • Primarily listing hostels, but also some hotels, B&Bs, and apartments
  • If you sign up for Hostelworld, your hostel will be shown on more than 3.500 distribution partners (including Hostelbookers, Hostels.com, and Lonelyplanet.com)
  • Hostelworld.com has increased it’s commission from 10% to 12% to now 15% in the last few years. Hopefully, we won’t see this trend continue
  • If you list your hostel on Hostelworld and you give them a minimum of 15% of your available beds, you’ll get access to a free property management system (PMS) called “Backpack Online

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

7.8/10

7.8/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

Unless you have an effective marketing system in place to get direct bookings, this OTA is a must-have for every hostel owner. A listing on Hostelworld.com will have the single biggest impact on your occupancy rate compared to all other OTAs.

#2 TripAdvisor

Category: Meta-Search Engine

I. Success-Proof

10/10

10/10
  • 100% of the top 41 hostels worldwide have an active listing on TripAdvisor.com

II. Effectiveness

8/10

8/10
  • Median review number: 345 (+289)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 10 (+0.6)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    490 million monthly page views
  • Total listings: 8.4 million
Hostelworld Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

4/10

4/10
  • Commissions for the instant booking program (not mandatory):
    15% to receive 50% of all “book on TripAdvisor” views
    12% to receive 25% of all “book on TripAdvisor” views
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Note that you don’t need to have your own account to have a page and reviews on TripAdvisor.com since it is a meta-search engine
  • Many OTAs work with reviews from Tripadvisor
  • Lists all kinds of properties: Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and others

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

7.3/10

7.3/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

Even though it’s a meta-search engine, you need an account to manage your reviews! Although the instant booking program comes at the same cost of other OTAs, it’s still superior because you’re in full control of the customer’s experience with your hostel when they book directly.

#3 Google Hotel Ads

Category: Meta-Search Engine

I. Success-Proof

n/a

  • 100% of the top 41 hostels worldwide have a Google business profile, but it’s unknown how many of them actually use Google Hotel Ads

II. Effectiveness

8/10

8/10
  • Median review number: 231 (+175)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.3 (-0.1)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global Reach: Global
  • Total Listings: n/a
Hostelworld Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

4.4/10

4.4/10
  • Average commission: 10-15%
    Depending on your campaign
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • You first need to create a Google Business Profile
  • First launched in 2011, Google Hotel Ads is a specialized advertising platform that allows properties to be prominently placed across Google whenever users search for hostels
  • Lists all kinds of properties: Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and others
  • Essentially, Google Hotel Ads provides an additional source of direct traffic which means more control over your customer’s entire experience with your hostel! You’ll get more insights and you have a better way to form expectations

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

6.2/10

6.2/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

A Google business profile is a must-have for every hostel manager. However, the efficiency of Google Hotel Ads varies. It’s definitely worth a shot even if the costs are as high as other OTAs because you’re more in control. I suggest you start with the lowest commission and work your way up as needed.

#4 Booking

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

9.8/10

9.8/10
  • 98% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Booking.com

II. Effectiveness

9/10

9/10
  • Median review number: 824 (+768)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.3 (-0.1)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    227 countries
  • Total listings: 6.225.840
Hostelworld Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties: Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and others
  • Booking.com has many affiliates where your property will also be shown if you sign up

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

7.4/10

7.4/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If you don’t have an infrastructure to greatly facilitate direct bookings, a listing on booking.com can be an effective way to leverage your marketing.

#5 Agoda

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

8.8/10

8.8/10
  • 88% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Agoda.com

II. Effectiveness

9.5/10

9.5/10
  • Median review number: 1325 (+1269)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.3 (-0.1)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    Popular in Asia
  • Total listings: 2.000.000
    >200 Countries
Agoda Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.5/10

3.5/10
  • Average commission: 13-16%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties: hotels, hostels, b&bs, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and others
  • If you register on Agoda.com, your hostel will also be available on Priceline.com (Booking Holdings Inc.)
  • One of the fastest growing OTAs!

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

7.3/10

7.3/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

1325 median number of reviews speak for themselves. Agoda with its cousin Priceline are a highly effective distribution channel for your hostel.

#6 Expedia

Category: mostly Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

7.6/10

7.6/10
  • 76% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Expedia.com

II. Effectiveness

8.5/10

8.5/10
  • Median review number: 593 (+537)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.0 (-0.4)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    675 million views per month
  • Total listings: n/a
Hostelworld Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • If you sign up on Expedia, your hostel will be shown on more than 200 travel booking sites, including: Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Wotif, Ebookers.com, HomeAway.com, Bedandbreakfast.com (not .EU), Trivago, and more. No other OTA gives you access to as many websites as Expedia
  • Lists all kinds of properties: Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and others

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

6.5/10

6.5/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

Gigantic exposure via only one sign-up. If you still lack occupancy after signing up for Booking.com, Hostelworld, and Agoda, this is the next logical step.

#7 Hostelz

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

6.1/10

6.1/10
  • 61% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Hostelz.com

II. Effectiveness

3.5/10

3.5/10
  • Median review number: 0 (-56)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 10 (+0.6)
    Median number of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
  • Total listings: 52.080
Hostelworld Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

4.3/10

4.3/10
  • Average commission:
    Hostelworld 15%
    Booking.com 15%
    Hostelclub.com 10%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties with the main focus being hostels
  • Prides itself to be the world’s largest hostel database
  • Acts as a third party by comparing the prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Hostelclub while promising the cheapest available price
  • As an affiliate of these OTAs, they get a part of the commission in return
  • They offer incentives for writing detailed reviews (incl. pictures) for $10 per review
  • Since they are no meta-search engine, you have to sign up to be promoted on their website

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4.6/10

4.6/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If you use Hostelworld, Booking.com, and/or Hostelclub.com, this OTA is a hassle-free extension for your marketing. From a traveler’s perspective, their business model is definitely attractive.

#8 Traveloka

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

5.6/10

5.6/10
  • 56% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Traveloka.com

II. Effectiveness

3/10

3/10
  • Median review number: 0 (-56)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 8.9 (-0.5)
    Median number of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: South East Asia
  • Total listings: 100.000
Map - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 10-15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties
  • They are independent of other OTAs, although Expedia invested $350 million in July 2017

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4/10

4/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If you’re located in or near South East Asia or you are hosting many travelers from there, this OTA is worth a shot. The regional focus is its core benefit. 56% of the top 41 hostels are using traveloka for their marketing. Since the median review number is 0, the effectiveness of this distribution channel needs to be tested for each hostel individually.

#9 Ostrovoc

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

5.1/10

5.1/10
  • 51% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Ostrovoc.ru

II. Effectiveness

5/10

5/10
  • Median review number: n/a
    Uses Tripadvisor for reviews
  • Median rating: n/a
    Uses Tripadvisor for reviews
  • Global reach: Global
    Most popular in Russia
  • Total listings: 1.000.000
    Across more than 220 countries with more than 5 million monthly page views
ostrovok.ru Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties
  • They have a strong loyalty program called “Bank of Dreams”

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4.5/10

4.5/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

This is a must-have if you’re located in or near Russia or your country attracts many people from Russia.

#10 Despegar

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

4.9/10

4.9/10
  • 49% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Despegar.com

II. Effectiveness

5/10

5/10
  • Median review number: n/a
    Uses Tripadvisor for reviews
  • Median rating: n/a
    Uses Tripadvisor for reviews
  • Global reach: Latin America
    Most popular in Brazil
  • Total listings: 300.000
Despegar.com Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

1.7/10

1.7/10
  • Average commission: 18.5%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties
  • This website is the Ctrip of Latin America – the largest travel site in its area

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

3.9/10

3.9/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If you’re a hostel in Latin America or your country attracts many people from Latin America, Despegar.com is for you. Make sure the additional bookings you get make up for the higher costs.

#11 Dorms

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

4.1/10

4.1/10
  • 41% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Dorms.com

II. Effectiveness

3.5/10

3.5/10
  • Median review number: 2 (-54)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.6 (+0.2)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    Most popular in America & Europe (1 million monthly views)
  • Total listings: 30.000 hostels
Dorms.com Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

4.0/10

4/10
  • Commission: 15%
    12% for Gold members
    Current offer: 9.5% introductory commission (for a limited time)
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists hostels only (dorms are a requirement)

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

3.9/10

3.9/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

The good thing is that it only attracts people who specifically look for a dorm room (=realistic expectations). Given a median review number of 2, I suggest you check it out yourself. If you don’t use a channel manager, make sure to weigh up higher administrative costs with your additional bookings.

#12 Ctrip

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

3.4/10

3.4/10
  • 34% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Ctrip.com

II. Effectiveness

4/10

4/10
  • Median review number: 16 (-40)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.1 (-0.3)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    Most popular in China
  • Total listings: 1.200.000
    Across more than 200 countries
Agoda Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties
  • Their international website is “trip.com”
  • Ctrip is China’s leading travel site

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

3.5/10

3.5/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If you’re a hostel in Asia or your country attracts many people from Asia, Ctrip is the way to go. However, if none of the above apply and your channel manager isn’t compatible with Ctrip, you’ll have to weigh up the additional bookings with the additional administration.

#13 Hostelsclub

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

3.4/10

3.4/10
  • 34% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Hostelsclub.com

II. Effectiveness

3.5/10

3.5/10
  • Median review number: 1 (-55)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.7 (+0.3)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    Most popular in Europe
  • Total listings: 30.000
Hostelsclub.com Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

5.5/10

5.5/10
  • Average commission: 10%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists hostels, B&Bs, guesthouses and camping sites

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4.1/10

4.1/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

Hostelclubs main focus group is hostel lovers. With a median of 1 review, this site has room for development. If you don’t use a channel manager, you’ll have to weigh up the higher costs with the additional bookings.

#14 BedandBreakfast.eu

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

3.4/10

3.4/10
  • 29% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use BedandBreakfast.eu

II. Effectiveness

5/10

5/10
  • Median review number: 212 (+156)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.4 (+0.0)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    Most popular in Europe
  • Total listings: 677.000
    Across more than 225 countries
Map - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

5.5/10

5.5/10
  • Average commission: 10% (“instant booking”)
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists mostly B&Bs but also hostels
  • Offers the option to get reservation requests for a fixed yearly fee of 75-175€
  • Important note: bedandbreakfast.com and bedandbreakfast.eu are NOT the same

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4.6/10

4.6/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

Although only 29% of the top 41 hostels use this OTA, it gets a considerable amount of reviews per hostel. This effectiveness in combination with a low 10% commission rate and the fact that it attracts the “right” guests for hostels, makes it a HIDDEN GEM.

#15 Hostelculture

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

2.7/10

2.7/10
  • 27% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Hostelculture.com

II. Effectiveness

4/10

4/10
  • Median review number: n/a
    Uses Tripadvisor for reviews
  • Median rating: n/a
    Uses Tripadvisor for reviews
  • Global reach: Europe
    Offers global listing options
  • Total listings: 2.700 hostels
Hostelculture Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

5.5/10

5.5/10
  • Commission: 10%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists hostels only
  • Hostelculture currently offers one of the lowest commission rate in the industry. They also share it with their bookers. 50% of the commission goes back to the individual booker and works as an attractive loyalty bonus.
  • Compatible with MyAllocator (Cloudbeds), SiteMinder and other popular channel managers
  • Email from their customer service: “You likely will not receive a huge amount of bookings from us in the early stages since we’re still a relatively young OTA, but those bookings you do receive will yield you a much higher net rate than those bookings from the other OTAs. I would NOT recommend you to list with us instead of one of the main players in the space; rather, I’d suggest you list on HostelCulture.com IN CONJUNCTION with the big players (Booking.com, Hostelworld, Expedia etc.).”

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4.1/10

4.1/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

The business model is unique, promising, and based on a win-win solution by rewarding bookers. If you use a compatible channel manager, I recommend you list your hostel there. Whatever you decide, make sure you keep this one in mind. It shows great future potential.

#16 Gomio

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

2/10

2/10
  • 20% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Gomio.com

II. Effectiveness

3/10

3/10
  • Median review number: 0 (-56)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 9.7 (+0.3)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global reach: Global
    Most popular in North America & Europe
  • Total listings: 6.600 hostels
Gomio.com Logo - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

5.5/10

5.5/10
  • Commission: 10%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists hostels, guesthouses, and camping sites

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

2.8/10

2.8/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If you’re located in North America or Europe or attract many travelers from these areas, Gomio is definitely an option. However, the median number of reviews is 0. Therefore, I suggest you check it out yourself to see if it’s the right fit for your hostel.

#17 Airbnb

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

1.2/10

1.2/10
  • 12% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use Airbnb.com

II. Effectiveness

3/10

3/10
  • Median review number: 56 (0.0)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: n/a
  • Global reach: Global
  • Total listings: 5.000.000
    In more than 191 countries
Map - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

8.7/10

8.7/10
  • Average commission: 3%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists mostly private homes, apartments, vacation rentals, but also hostels
  • Airbnb has developed into one of the biggest competitors of the hostel industry over the last few years
  • Compatible with only few channel managers, including MyAllocator (Cloudbeds)
  • After receiving a request, you have 24 hours to respond

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

4.3/10

4.3/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

Even though it might seem counter-intuitive to list a hostel on the biggest competitor’s website, the low commission rate makes it an attractive additional distribution channel – especially with a compatible channel manager at hand.

#18 HRS

Category: Online Travel Agency (OTA)

I. Success-Proof

1.2/10

1.2/10
  • 12% of the top 41 hostels worldwide use HRS.com

II. Effectiveness

2/10

2/10
  • Median review number: 0 (-56)
    Median number of all OTAs = 56
  • Median rating: 6.5 (-2.9)
    Median rating of all OTAs = 9.4
  • Global Reach: Global
    Most popular in Europe
  • Total Listings: 5.000.000
    157 countries
    20 million monthly views
Map - Online Travel Agency

III. Costs

3.3/10

3.3/10
  • Average commission: 15%
  • Sign-up: free

Other

  • Lists all kinds of properties, but primarily hotels
  • Focuses on business travelers

► OVERALL SCORE ◄

2.2/10

2.2/10
TheHostelHelper's Opinion:

If your focus are business travelers, HRS can be an attractive option. If not, I suggest you make your own experience to see if it attracts the “right” guests for your hostel.

​Other OTAs

What about other OTAs you might have heard of?

This is for the nit-pickers among you:

  • Hostels247.com
    1 of the top 41 hostels is listed here
  • Staybonanza.com
    1 of the top 41 hostels is listed here
  • Hosteltraveler.com
    1 of the top 41 hostels is listed here
  • Kayak.com
    Is a meta-search engine → no sign-up needed
  • Lonelyplanet.com
    Partner of Hostelworld.com and Booking.com → no sign-up needed

This is part of the complete guide about online travel agencies. Make sure to read the full blog!

Disclaimer Icon - Online Travel Agencies

Disclaimer: While I have taken every precaution to insure that the content on this site is both current and accurate, errors can occur. TheHostelHelper assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, suitability, timelessness or validity and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, expressed or implied. For more information, click here.

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Kevin

Kevin is the founder of TheHostelHelper and a former German engineer in his late twenties. In the middle of his grad school studies, he started a consulting business and broke several branch records within the first six months… until he finally quit this venture to pursue his passion for hostels. Kevin is known for his super black humor – yet, super black might still be an understatement. He also LOVES dogs and drinks too much coffee. When he’s not obsessing about hostel topics you’re likely to find him at the gym – where the heavy weights are.

23 thoughts on “List Of Online Travel Agencies For Hostel Owner

  1. I actually own a B&B, but I couldn’t find such a list elsewhere. That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thanks =)

  2. Hostelworld, Booking, Agoda, and Gomio.
    But I just signed up for bedandbreakfast.eu after reading this article 😉

    Thanks!
    Michael

  3. Hostelworld, Booking.com, Dorms, Hostelz, Hostelclub… but we are getting the most reservations through Booking.com

    Great work btw!

  4. I’ll give Airbnb a shot this week.
    I’m not really sure yet how it works with dorms but I’ll let you know how it worked out 😉

    Kind regards,
    Peter from Canada

  5. Great list, thanks!
    Super interesting to see what other successful hostel owners actually use.
    In our hostel, Hostelworld and Booking bring in about 3/4 of all reservations. Around 5% comes from other OTAs and our website does the rest.

  6. Hi Kevin

    The Airbnb fee refered, 3%, is for those that want guest to pay another extra to the channel.
    It is now possible to rent paying the property the full fee to Airbnb, 14%

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