Literacy > Lodging Glossary > Youth Hostel

Youth Hostel

A youth hostel, along with youth training centers and youth campsites, refers to a lodging establishment designated as a training facility under the Enforcement Decree of the Building Act, designed to accommodate youth activities requiring lodging functions. Youth organizations are given priority for use, and it can also be provided for corporate group training activities as long as it does not interfere with youth activities.
Statutory Definition
Youth hostels are defined as 'facilities providing lodging convenience and supporting the activities for traveling youth, with accommodations and amenities suitable for the lodging and stay of youth, including additional convenience facilities.' It is distinguished from hostels under the Tourism Promotion Act in that it serves youth activities.
Lobin Commentary

Until 1991, youth hostels were facilities used for lodging properties under the Tourism Promotion Act. However, they were reclassified as training facilities under the ‘Youth Basic Act’ enacted in 1993, and with the implementation of the ‘Youth Activity Promotion Act’ in 2005, they were integrated into youth training facilities.

The Youth Activity Promotion Act mandates that the state and local governments establish and implement policies for youth activity facilities, youth activity programs, and youth leaders to enable youth to participate autonomously and voluntarily in various youth activities. Youth activity facilities are broadly categorized into youth training facilities and youth utilization facilities. Youth training centers, youth training centers, youth culture houses, youth specialty facilities, youth campsites, and youth hostels fall under youth training facilities. Among these, youth training centers, youth campsites, and youth hostels provide accommodations for overnight youth training activities.

Annex 3 of the ‘Enforcement Regulation of Youth Activity Promotion Act’ sets out the following additional facility standards for youth hostels, in addition to the common standards applicable to training facilities:

  1. Guestrooms
    1. Each room should accommodate no more than 10 people, and the total number of double or smaller rooms should not exceed 40% of the total accommodation capacity.
    2. Family rooms may be provided for families accompanying youth. In this case, the total capacity of the family rooms should not exceed 30% of the total accommodation capacity.
    3. The dormitory room should provide at least 2.4 square meters per person. However, for middle school or elementary school students, the total dormitory capacity can be increased by 10% (for middle school students) or 20% (for elementary school students).
    4. Must have good natural lighting and ventilation and should not be located in basements.
    5. If family rooms are to be installed, they can include divided bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. If a living room is included, 30% of the living room area can be considered as part of the dormitory room area.
    6. If dormitories are dispersed in small units, accommodation for youth leaders should be placed near the youth dormitories.
    7. Each floor with dormitory rooms must have shared toilets, showers, and washrooms (if dormitories are dispersed, these facilities must be provided at close distances). However, if all dormitory rooms on the floor have their own toilets, showers, and washrooms, additional facilities are not required.
    8. Must have a communal laundry room. However, if the washroom and shower room can also serve as a laundry room, a separate laundry room is not required.
    9. Must have heating facilities. However, if individual dormitory rooms have heating facilities, a carbon monoxide detector inspected and approved according to the ‘Act on the Prevention and Management of Fire and Safety’ must be installed in each room.
  2. Conversation and Information Room
    1. These rooms should be designed to provide travel and cultural information and to serve as meeting spaces.
  3. Self-Catering Kitchen
    1. Cooking facilities should be provided at a ratio of one set per 50 accommodation capacity. However, the total number should not exceed five sets.
    2. The structure should ensure good ventilation and be equipped with fire prevention equipment.
    3. It should have water supply, drainage, and waste disposal facilities.
    4. Youth hostels must have cooking facilities (gas or electric stoves, sinks), dining tables, chairs, and storage for individual cooking utensils and supplies.
    5. If installed outdoors, the structure should be weatherproof, and the location should be convenient.
  4. Rest Area
    1. At least one leader’s room must be installed.
    2. A space for users to rest, equipped with chairs and tables.
    3. If chairs and tables are placed in shared areas for rest purposes, it can be considered a rest area (limited to cases where the individual standard does not specify a rest area).
  5. Leader’s Room
    1. At least one leader’s room must be installed.
    2. An indoor space used by youth leaders for preparing youth training activities, equipped with necessary equipment such as chairs and tables.
  6. Heating Facilities
    1. Must have heating facilities.
  7. Emergency Equipment
    1. Must be equipped with emergency lighting or equipment.
    2. An emergency water supply facility must be installed.
  8. Other facilities: broadcasting equipment, infirmary, and storage facilities.
    1. Broadcasting equipment: Facilities for making announcements within the training facility, with the main equipment installed in a separate broadcasting room or adjacent to the management office.
    2. Infirmary
      1. Must be equipped with a medicine cabinet, bed, bedding, and other necessary items for first aid and emergency treatment of sick or injured individuals.
      2. Can be installed adjacent to the management office or office (limited to cases where the individual standard does not specify an infirmary).
    3. Storage Facilities: Must have storage facilities or lockers.
  9. Accommodation Capacity: This refers to the appropriate number of people who can be accommodated simultaneously in the guestrooms.
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Data Source

  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Establishments: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

Data Source

  • Population: Population, Total (World Bank Open Data)
  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

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Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • USA: Census Database (STR)
  • Period: As at the end of 2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Life cycle was calculated as of December 31, 2021 or actual closure date. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST), Economic Census (KOSIS), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA), DART (FSS), Trends Report (STR)
  • USA: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR), Trends Report (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Visibility was calculated as the number of establishments for which revenue data is available divided by the total number of establishments. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Guests(Korea): Domestic Traveler Survey (MCST), International Traveler Survey (MCST), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA)
  • Rooms(Korea): Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • Guests(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Trends Report (STR)
  • Rooms(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2020

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.