I do not know if my answer it has importance, because I am not an "authority" regarding this matter, since I am in the process to start a hostel, an it is not be ready until 2012, and I am in the other side of the world: Argentina.
For whatever I have read: hostels are always related with "backpackers", BUT in La Plata, my city, which is almost 900.000 habitants, with one of the most important universities of my country, hostels are occupied by students from other countries (70 to 80 %), argentinian students (15 to 25 %), and the third category are people that come to the city for paperwork, or business.
Be aware that even we are a "big" city I think we do not have more than 1500 hotel beds.
Finally one of the 5 hostels we have, is currently fully bocked during the next 4 month by a huge company that need to allocate its workers.
Have luck with your study
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