Some of the hostels in the Gold Coast, Australia, only allow international visitors. I'm a bit surprised at this because the average Australian is not at all dangerous only dangerous in the same way your average backpacker is (likely to drink a lot, be an obnoxious idiot, etc.).

Are there some crime or safety reasons for this?

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    It's possible they would make an exception if you show you're a real tourist. Most of the time the policy is there to allow them to turn down people they don't like, not actual locals.
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 31, 2016 at 11:57
  • I don't think this would be legal in the UK - it's not legal to discriminate on people based on their nationality. I think many other countries have similar laws.
    – bdsl
    Jan 31, 2016 at 13:23
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    @bdsl (It may need to test it in court it it fitted in this case, but) it may be ok, as in some countries, reverse discrimination is legal i.e., providing greater opportunities to an otherwise disadvantaged minority is Ok. Feb 1, 2016 at 1:29
  • @DarcyThomas - there is nothing really reverse about it. Or do you think apartheid in South Africa wasn't racist, it was reverse racist?
    – Davor
    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:38
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    @Davor Nice try at a strawman (yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman). But no; apartheid is different. Apartheid provided greater opportunities (etc.) to a privileged minority (ie, Not an "otherwise disadvantaged minority"). I was referring to the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993 section 73 (1)(a-b) legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM304672.html Where say: you choose to hire a less qualified woman (rather than a man) to a board, where capable women are typically under represented. The reverse (ie, Hire a less qualified man to the board) would be unlawful Feb 2, 2016 at 21:23

3 Answers 3


Don't take it personally, that happens in other countries as well. It's not common, but there are hostels in the US, Canada, and Europe that don't allow people from their own country to stay there. So if it makes you feel any better, there are U.S. hostels that will happily accept you, but not a U.S. citizen. I ran into that once myself when I wanted to stay at a hostel here, so I know it is frustrating.

The reasoning is some hostels are trying to create a particular social environment where you can interact with travelers from all different countries. It's also a way to make sure guests really are people who are traveling, not just locals who need a place to crash, or someone who just arrived in town and is looking for temporary housing. At worse, some hostels that let anyone stay can end up looking more like a housing project or homeless shelter.

It does solve that problem, but it is unfortunate that they also end up excluding people who really are visiting town from other parts of the country. I don't think it's a great policy, but that's the reasoning behind it anyway.

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    Some hostels have a maximum stay limit to deal with the people who stay a lot longer until they figure out some employment, etc. While it is reasonable for them, it's quite a bad news for real travelers.
    – AKS
    Jan 31, 2016 at 15:52
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    Is there a reason why they're, as a business, turning away customers? Are hostels not for-profit businesses? I wasn't aware they were government-subsidised.
    – DBedrenko
    Feb 1, 2016 at 11:19
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    @NewWorld They are turning away some customers to be more attractive to other customers.
    – Alexander
    Feb 1, 2016 at 13:29
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    @NewWorld Who would you rather have in your hostel: local people who can't afford traditional housing and may accrue tenant rights; or budget minded travelers who can afford international airfare and will be forcibly returned to their home country at government expense (if they overstay their visa)?
    – emory
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:00
  • Also, another reason might be that the hostel staff, is not made with locals of that country. I have been to many hostels with people who are good in English but not the local language.
    – AKS
    Feb 1, 2016 at 17:55

Some places have laws that make it hard and expensive to evict hotel guests who overstay their welcome. International visitors often have to leave the country after a set amount of days, which makes it easy to get rid of them. Unfortunately I do not know if there are any of these "hard to evict" problems in Australia.


Well, That happened to one of my friend. It's true that this happen often. Like the comment above mentioned, some hostels want to have a global social environment rather than bunch of people from the country. I think also the people who use the hotels expect the travelers to be from around the world which create a different environment. Don't be upset but that's the way it is. I travel with 2 passports so I can always find a hostel which accommodate me. I don't frequent them often due to other issues I don't want to discuss. In brief, try not to go to a hostel in your own country.

  • Most hostels allow visitors from own country and in some kinds of travel hostels are the best option. So if you want to use a hostel, contact them, ask whether they accept you and if not, explain why you need to stay in a hostel in your own country so that if it is not a hard rule they might make an exception.
    – Willeke
    Feb 1, 2016 at 19:12

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