A Superior Interactive Rating System

BBH operators agree to participate in, and publish the results of our annual Customer Satisfaction survey.

Our unique system determines a BPP (Backpacker Perception Percentage) to give an indication of how much previous customers have enjoyed their stay at each hostel. More than 4,600 travelers completed our 2004 survey. The average BPP score is around 75%. The highest current BPP is 96% and the lowest 45%.

To determine a hostel's BPP rating we ask the experts - people like YOU who have used our hostels as everyday customers. EVERY guest staying at a BBH hostel on survey night (chosen to be a busy night in the height of the busy season) is invited to participate.

A hostel's BPP% rating is the combined opinion of a minimum of 30 guests who have usually stayed there at least one night (the average is 2.3 nights). The stay may have been at any time - quite beyond anyone's control, so that facilities are seen under practical working conditions. Ratings for a hostel are counted only from guests who have moved on to other hostels where they are free from the influence of the hostel they are rating. The survey is conducted on one night and guests are asked how much they have enjoyed every hostel they have used. It's a rare guest who enjoys dirty run-down facilities, tired bad tempered management, cold showers, poorly equipped kitchens or noisy overcrowded dormitories, and ratings reflect this peculiarity. Survey forms (listing 500+ purveyors of "backpacker accommodation") are returned directly to an independent market research company which processes the data and provides results to BBH. Guests are also invited to make comments about hostels. Those comments too are processed and returned to the hostel concerned.

The BBP  rating is a very good relative indication of the TOTAL quality of a hostel. But do remember that it is much easier to achieve a high rating in a small personal hostel in an idyllic rural setting than in a city location where a hostel is necessarily much bigger and busier.

The system has been finely tuned over a decade to produce reliable, repeatable results. At BBH we are satisfied that our BPP rating system is responsible in no small part for encouraging New Zealand Backpacker Hostels' high standards and reputation. The BPP rating system IS the most appropriate for travelers' hostel accommodation. We believe that our results will always be more relevant to travelers than conventional star ratings such as the NZ Qualmark system based on facilities, fixed formulae, and an inspection of a pre-selected part of a hostel on a pre-arranged day.

It can be confusing when there is more than one grading system in operation - especially if the results don't agree with each other

Just how different the systems are can be seen by comparing some results.
Qualmark lists 3 five star Backpackers. The corresponding BPP% ratings are 94%, 79% and 72% for an average BPP of 83%
Qualmark's 6 four star+ backpackers had BPP% ratings ranging from 82% to 65% for an average of 74%.
16 four star backpackers averaged 77%  and ranged from 90% to 67%
11 three star+ backpackers averaged 72% (81% to 59%)
8 three star backpackers averaged 76% (85% to 62%)
and 5 Qualmark two star+ backpackers averaged 71% (79% to 56%)
(The Qualmark ratings shown are quoted from the Qualmark website on 14 July 2002)

Because of the conflicting results, BBH does not include individual Qualmark ratings in its publications.
We would like to hear
your views on the relative merits of the two systems.

A BBH rating survey is now available on-line at


You will need  to log in with a BBH Club Card in order to register your own ratings and to view other guests' comments.