Youth hostel owners have dismissed fears that 24-hour alcohol licences will lead to all-night raves.

The YHA has applied for round-the-clock licences for all its 118 hostels, and 93 have so far been granted. But the association says the move is purely practical, and there are no plans to turn the sites into party venues.

Paul Fearne of the YHA said existing licences needed renewing and the organisation was taking the opportunity to standardise its applications. It has had only one bid turned down.