Whiff of change in the air - WeHostels looks to be going a bit mainstream with news that it will adding hotels its mobile-only booking platform.
The move comes the same week as HotelTonight triggered a bit eyebrow-raising as it quietly put hostels on its list of properties available to book on the same day.
The StudentUniverse-owned WeHostels, which was bought in November 2013, previously focused solely on hostels and bed & breakfast-type accommodation.
It has now expanded its inventory to include more than 170,000 hotels on its database, alongside the existing 37,000 hostels.
Users will be able to filter between the different types of accommodation from within the app, showing both existing budget accommodation and discounted rates from hotels.
Hotel inventory comes from the Expedia Affiliate Network (around 70%) and the rest from existing content on StudentUniverse.
WeHostels co-founder Diego Saez-Gil says the company wanted to include hotels before the acquisition, due to demand from its existing users, but "having the StudentUniverse volume and negotiation power behind allowed us to get the deals and the exclusive inventory".
The hotel inventory will be distressed rooms at discounted rates, he says, alongside deals for those who are members of hotel loyalty programmes.
Speaking about HotelTonight's move to include hostels, which it will label "Crashpad" inventory and run as a pilot across all its existing European markets, chief operating officer Jared Simon says:
"Since we are growing so quickly in Europe and that customer base is so much more interested in hostel options, we wanted to be sure to offer hostels/budget properties."
The experiment will compliment its "HighRoller" inventory of high-end properties, Simon adds.
Nevertheless, such is the competition in the marketplace outside of the US, Hot Hotels CEO Conor O'Connor had this to say:
"Selling $400 hotel rooms with a $50 discount may work well in more mature US markets but the majority of European last-minute hotel demand is towards the lower end of the spectrum.
"We hope this move will prove successful for them and that more consumers will be touched by a great last-minute hotel booking experience, now that HotelsTonight are offering the inventory we have been selling for almost two years."
Developments at HotelTonight and WeHostels come as the world of hostel distribution squares up to what some suggest are unfair tactics by the two main players in the sector following HostelWorld's acquisition of HostelBookers in early-2013.