Where to Open a Hostel

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This page contains community-contributed ideas about places to start new hostels. Many of these ideas come from the hostel forum:

These are not necessarily good places to open a hostel, but this list is intended to be a starting point for people who are researching places to open new hostels.

North America

Canada

If you are thinking of starting a hostel in Canada, definitely contact Backpackers.ca for assistance and see their Start a Hostel Guide.

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="60.75916" lon="-102.480469" type="map" zoom="3"> 42.291192, -82.997466 Windsor, Ontario - There aren't any hostels in Windsor, Canada or Detroit, USA, just across the border. 51.040733, -114.079665 Calgary, Canada - there is one HI hostel here and one independent hostel: Wicked Hostels - Calgary. </googlemap>

  • Windsor, Ontario
  • Calgary, Alberta

USA

  • Arizona
    • Sedona - there are no hostels in this tourist destination between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix
    • Phoenix - large city with only one hostel
    • Tucson - large city with only one hostel
  • California
    • Big Sur, California
    • Santa Barbara (currently only one hostel)
    • Anywhere along the coast -- California State Route 1: "It is famous for running by some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world"
    • Berkeley - near San Francisco, with a University of California at Berkeley. There are no hostels here that offer dorm beds.
  • Connecticut - easy stopover between Boston and New York City
  • Florida
    • Miami - A good number of hostels already litter the Miami Beach area, but there may be room for a few more since capacity is often reached during high peak seasons.
    • Tallahassee, Florida
  • Georgia
    • Atlanta - this city has the world's busiest airport, but only one hostel. Although, there were a total of two hostels sometime in the late 90s.
    • Savannah - popular tourist destination with no hostels
  • Hawaii
    • a well-run hostel could do well anywhere in Hawaii
  • Iowa
    • Des Moines
  • Kansas
    • Kansas City
  • Louisiana
    • New Orleans
    • Baton Rouge
  • Maine
    • Portland, Maine - there are no hostels in the largest city in the State of Maine. There is a large university in Portland. There are probably many towns in Maine where a hostel could do well. It's a very popular summer tourist destination.
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
    • Detroit - large city with one (new) hostel
  • Minnesota
    • Minneapolis/St. Paul - large city with just one hostel
    • Duluth - popular tourist destination with no hostels
  • Mississippi - hotbed of American culture, especially music
  • Missouri
    • Kansas City - currently no hostel
    • St. Louis - large city with just one hostel
  • Nebraska
    • Omaha
  • Nevada
    • Las Vegas - still opportunity here
  • Ohio
    • Columbus - large city with only one hostel
    • Cincinnati - no hostels currently
    • Cleveland - large city with only one hostel
  • Pennsylvania
    • Philadelphia - There is still opportunity here, as only two small hostels currently operate in the city. Only one of them is in a good central location, while the other one is in the middle of a large park and has very poor public transport access (one mile from the nearest bus stop, nowhere near any subway or trolley lines).
    • Pittsburgh - currently no hostel, although one is reportedly in the works. It is the Megabus hub between Midwest and East Coast.
  • Rhode Island
    • Providence - the capital city of Rhode Island is close to Boston
    • Block Island - tourist getaway dying for low-price lodging
  • Tennessee
    • Memphis
    • Nashville
  • Texas
    • Austin - Texas' capital city and location of the annual SXSW festival has only one hostel
    • Dallas - there are only two or three hostels in the 4th largest city in the USA
    • San Antonio - only one hostel in this popular tourist destination
  • Utah - spectacular national parks with many tourists, but very few hostels
  • Wisconsin
    • Milwaukee - the largest city in Wisconsin has no hostels
  • Wyoming - spectacular wilderness, but few hostels
    • Yellowstone National Park
    • Grand Teton National Park

Europe

The Mediterranean is apparently highly seasonal.

Croatia

  • the coast
  • Dubrovnik
  • Brac
  • Korcula
  • Hvar

Montenegro

  • Podgorica (currently no hostels)
  • There is only one hostel in Montenegro, and it's apparently closing

Ukraine

  • Lviv
  • Odessa

Italy

  • Milano
  • Torino
  • Padua
  • Pisa (?)
  • Bologna
  • Ravenna
  • Verona
  • Firenze

England

  • Leeds
  • Sheffield
  • Lincoln
  • Ludlow
  • Norwich
  • Shrewsbury

Ireland

  • Waterford
  • Dublin

France

  • Bordeaux
  • Toulouse
  • Lille
  • Lyon
  • Paris

Greece

Impossible I am afraid. A 1993 law says that hostels are facilities for young people run by federations that are non-commercial.

Asia

Taiwan

Taiwan still has an underdeveloped hostel scene. It is a top-notch travel destination, but many of the hostels on the island are HI hostels that are not marketed through regular backpacker channels. The HI hostels seem to focus more on "youth" travel, with names like "Youth Activity Center".

China

  • Qingdao - "Qingdao is very different feel and does have more of a coastal European feel to it...I also there is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to open a hostel here because there is only one in this big city." (from a traveler's blog in 2008). UPDATE: There are at least 4 hostels in Qingdao as of January 2010.

India

  • Mumbai
  • Banglore

Africa

  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Egypt
  • South Africa

Mozambique

Australia & New Zealand

  • Add ideas here

Nelson, NZ is desperately short of hostel beds in the high season.

South Pacific

New Caledonia

  • Nouméa

Cook Islands

  •  ?

Central and South America

  • Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco State, Mexico (If you are interested in opening a hostel here, see the Talk Page for more information)

Brazil, inparticular Rio de Janeiro for the 2014 World cup and 2016 summer olympics. Mnay places in brasil that could use a hostel.

  • Guyana

Caribbean

  • San Andrés Island (Colombia)
  • Cuba