As TripAdvisor attempts to position itself at the centre of the online world, one group of accommodation owners is not impressed at being sidelined.
A collection of hostel owners, led by Abraham Hostels in Jerusalem, Israel, argue that their particular sector of the hospitality industry is being under-served due to there not being a specific category on TripAdvisor.
Co-founder Gal Mor says the hostels are found in a number of categories on TripAdvisor, often with no standardisation even within a particular city.
Such categories include hotels, bed and breakfast or speciality lodging.
Given that the global hostel industry is estimated to be growing at a rate of some 37% over the past decade and is now a $34 billion industry, Mor argues, having TripAdvisor list some hostels under speciality lodging is "effectively a graveyard".
"It’s illogical, since we have the same facilities as many hotels, and having one listing page would benefit consumers greatly in their search for hostel accommodation when travelling around the world."
Backers of a campaign to urge TripAdvisor to make a change so there is a dedicated channel for hostels include Meininger, Clink Hosels, Europe's Famous Hostels and youth travel organisation, Stay Wyse.
Travel service TouristIsrael is also supporting the campaign, with founder Ben Julius recognising TripAdvisor's influential position in the travel booking funnel but warning the site is missing out on "immense potential revenues" as a result of the hostel sector's current omission.
Such a dedicated channel, he argues, would also "provide a direct competition to leading reservation sites HostelWorld and HostelBookers who are consolidating in any case".
A TripAdvisor official says "hostels can be found as a style button within the speciality lodging tab or by using our search functionality, which we continue to improve".
"We don’t have plans to break hostels into a separate tab at this time, however; our product teams take on board feedback from business owners as well as our travel community and derive insights from the large amount of usage data we have available to us."
For its part, HostelWorld says TripAdvisor has a "questionable policy" in that hostels have a different business model (beds not rooms) and it should therefore "reflect that accurately".
An official highlights how different TripAdvisor domains (.com, French version, etc) have an inconsistent policy when it comes positioning hostels in a particular taxonomy on the site.
With regards to user tips on TripAdvisor, the official says the user review site is "making more money off hotel beds advertisers, their 'recommendations' are questionable".
"What is the relevance of showing a recommended hotel on the sidebar of a hostel page, other than TripAdvisor trying to divert traffic to more expensive click-rates?"