Hostels host backpackers from all over the world. Our Toronto backpackers inn is home to travelers from virtually everywhere and anywhere you can imagine.
I really can’t really think of any place we haven’t had somebody visit from. Backpacking and staying in hostels is now a world-wide phenomenon and no longer the sole preserve of the youth of the world.
We get people from Khazakstan to Korea; Lithuania to Lichenstein; Macau to Mozambique etc. So it is likely easier to tell you from where we get the fewest travelers.
First of all, Ireland is the all-time champion for the greatest percentage of our hostels guests. They have occupied as much as one third of our total capacity and virtually never fewer than 20% of our total capacity of over 200 beds.
Toronto, according to the U.N., is perhaps the most multi-cultural city on the planet. So it stands to reason that we get visitors from far and wide.
There are actually close to half a million ethnic Chinese in Toronto. But we don’t get a lot of Chinese backpackers (nor do other Toronto hostels, to the best of my knowledge)
Why not? Three reasons actually. The first is that many Chinese who visit Toronto have friends or relatives to stay with.
The two other reasons are cultural. Chinese usually have to have a reason to visit a foreign country. They don’t really grasp the concept of a vagabond lifestyle or travel for the sake of travel. They are far to practical a people.
They also don’t fully understand the western concept of a “vacation”. Like camping, for instance.
To the Chinese spending your limited leisure time living under conditions that are less comfortable and less convenient than how you normally live is patently absurd. (It really is, if you think about it!)
So despite the fact that they represent more than 20% of all souls on this planet, they have been decidedly under-represented in most hostels.
And the Irish, (the ones actually from Ireland) number only about 4 million people and have taken over our hostel – go figure?