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Hostels Gain Popularity With Business Travelers

Hostels, long associated with lone backpackers and groups of students, have recently attracted older adults, families and, now, even business travelers, especially those in their 20s and 30s on tight budgets who are staying at upscale, design-oriented hostels.

Many Generator Hostel guests are starting in their careers and traveling for work but do not have large expense accounts. In 10 years, they might stay at stylish boutique hotels like W and the Standard, but for now they choose upscale hostels rather than budget hotels. Mr. Wyatt said they were drawn by “a great night sleep, a great shower and free Wi-Fi, all in a hip, relaxed setting. If you have to travel and are on a budget, you still want to have fun and want something cool.”

The company is beginning to market to start-up firms and entry- and junior-level employees. It uses booking sources not typically associated with hostels that compete with budget hotels, listing its properties on global distribution systems used by online booking Web sites.

The hostel industry has grown in recent years because more people are traveling and because of the global economic downturn that pinched travelers’ budgets.