New Zealand has long held a torch for being one of the best places in the world to backpack, with the predominant accommodation choice for the backpacker being the hostel. With over 150 hostels throughout the country and backpackers currently making up 11 percent of all holiday visitors into NZ and growing – the hostel market is going from strength to strength.
Belinda Hargreaves, managing director of the Backpacker Group owns four hostels in New Zealand, one in Dunedin, Christchurch, Rotorua and Kaikoura. Kiwi born Hargreaves has journeyed the world and wanted to give backpackers the same positive experience she enjoyed while travelling and staying in hostels.
When the opportunity was presented to purchase her first backpackers in Christchurch in 2013 she jumped at the chance. With a lot of hard work and two earthquakes later, Hargreaves has since built up four hostels be a popular choice for backpackers in each location.
With an eye for expansion and business Hargreaves launched the Backpacker Group in 2016, an umbrella brand to promote quality New Zealand owned hostels and to encourage backpackers to book direct and stay at other Backpacker Group hostels throughout their adventure.
“Our aim is to have other hostels in New Zealand join our group with one in each location, so together we can provide the traveller with good accommodation and a top New Zealand experience,” says Hargreaves. The criteria for membership is friendly, comfortable, warm and clean facilities with highly rated feedback on travel sites such as Trip Advisor. Benefits for the traveller include discounts and special rates of travel and tourism rates.
Hargreaves is excited about the nation’s growing tourism industry and the future of the Backpacker Group. “New Zealand has aspirational appeal for overseas visitors, to able to contribute to a travellers trip of a lifetime with good hostels in prime NZ locations is rewarding and a great opportunity.”