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Module 12: Characteristics of the Hospitality Industry

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The Accommodation Sector

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Hospitality Management
The Accommodation Sector

There are no generic rules for classifying accommodation establishments globally.

One method used, is to divide accommodation into two
main groups:

Non-commercial
Home, (nursing, retirement)
Institution, (university)
Shelter facility

Commercial
Hotels
Serviced apartments
Villas/Chalets

A “Hotel” is defined as an establishment held out by
the proprietor as offering sleeping accommodation
to any person presenting himself, and who appears
able and willing to pay a reasonable sum for the
services and facilities provided and who is in a fit state
to be received.

A hotel is classified as a commercial establishment providing accommodations, meals and other guest services. Originally guests had two choices:

Luxury hotels
Budget hotels

In some countries, hotels were built to serve middle-class families and, when the economy in general boomed and room supply increased; hoteliers then focused on setting themselves apart by offering specialized accommodation for:

Conventioneers
Business groups
Special weekend events and families

As diversity flourished so did competition and brand loyalty. Anyone who can pay (within reason) can rent a room for a night in a hotel. Hotels vary greatly in style and services, from luxury, business, resort, townhouse to boutique and budget.

Hotel Room Example


A standard room will have a bed, bathroom facilities, shower, telephone, TV, lounge area and mini-bar. Housekeeping services available include laundry and dry-cleaning.

Nowadays guests would usually have access to a wireless computer network and also to a business centre. Most major hotels will have restaurants and bars available for guests and if they are situated in a large city they are usually located near the business districts, tourist destinations and/or airports.

City Hotels

These hotels are located within the heart of a city.

This Hotel type may vary greatly from business,
residential and economy rooms, mid-scale to
luxury suites, and also have a mid-scale to
luxury pricing system.


Commercial Hotels

They are located in downtown areas.

They tend to be smaller than convention hotels.

Meeting and function spaces are smaller, and
there are fewer banquet areas.

Suburban Hotels

This hotel type tends to be located within
smaller properties which usually provide a
full-service, and are located in suburban areas.

Resort Hotels

These hotels are located in picturesque, sometimes
remote settings. Customers travel long distance to
resorts. Usually, they tend to stay longer.

Resorts typically provide a comprehensive array of
recreational amenities, as well as a variety of food
& beverage outlets, ranging from informal to
fine-dining restaurants.


Airport Hotels

These hotels are designed specifically to accommodate air travelers. They offer a mix of facilities and amenities.

The majority also offer customers transportation to and from the airport.

Convention Hotels

These hotels can provide a large quantity of rooms. In addition to accommodation, they provide extensive meeting and function space for holding conventions. There are banquet areas within and around the hotel complex.

Most of them provide an in-house laundry, a business centre, airport shuttle service, and 24-hour room service. They are often in close proximity to convention centres and other convention hotels.

Besides the main types of accommodation mentioned in the previous section, there are also some further hotel types which are unique in their features, functions or designs.


Types of Tourist Accommodations
By utilizing information from the Internet, check if any of the hotel types mentioned in the previous slides are available in your local area/country.

Write out a list giving one local example for each type of tourist accommodation or an overseas example if it is not locally available.

Besides those hotel types mentioned in the previous section, there are also some more unusual hotel types which are unique or specialized in their features, functions or designs.

Ice Hotel

Ice hotels are mainly built using snow and ice. The first ice hotel is located in Sweden and its concept has been followed by Canada and some other European countries in building their own ice hotels to attract visitors.

Different from other general hotels, this type of
hotel is temporary in its nature and is torn down
and then rebuilt by artists and designers in
different seasons. Due to this reason, a guest who
chooses to stay in an ice hotel in different seasons
would find his/ her experience entirely different
once the hotel is rebuilt.

Cave Hotel

Examples of cave hotels can be found in Turkey,
originally these caves were used by people in
the past to avoid the disturbance and attack.

Some of these old caves have been reused and
redeveloped into hotels which attract visitors who
would like to experience the culture and tradition
of the host countries.

These hotels are also preferred by visitors who look for environmentally friendly accommodation and can provide a ‘close-to-nature’ experience in their journey. Some cave hotels are also built underground, such as the Coober Pedy in South Australia which has been restructured from an opal mine.

Capsule Hotel

This type of hotel originated in Japan and provides small, bed-only cabinets for its guests. The cabinet size is roughly 2m x 1m x 1.25m and they are mainly designed for local citizens who look for cheap accommodation when traveling back to their homes is not an option.

Services and facilities are limited, e.g. some may not have restaurants and guests are required to share the common washrooms inside the hotel properties.

Tree House Hotel

Tree house hotels are mainly located in countryside, especially in forests. Hotel rooms are built in harmony with trees which mainly follow the local native building method.

The most valuable experience is not provided by
the ‘no-gimmick’ in-room facilities but a variety of
tours and tourist activities, such as jungle walks,
nightlife animal tours and visits to native houses.

Such activities provide visitors an opportunity to
have a closer contact with the natural environment.

Examples of tree house hotels can be found in
Costa Rica, Kenya, Brazil and the Amazon.

Green Hotels


Green hotels are defined as those properties which implement different practices to minimize their harm to the natural environment. By referring to the examples of cave hotels, tree house hotels and underwater hotels as mentioned previously, try to discuss the following questions:

Will the construction of these types of hotels do any harm to the natural environment?

Explore what the hotel management can do in order to help protect the environment in the day to day running of these hotel types. Try to think about:
The operational practices
Education that can be provided to hotel guests.

Other Hotel Types Worldwide


Besides those specialized hotels introduced in the previous slides, there are also further types of hotels which are considered ‘unusual’ in their designs and features.

Try to explore more examples by inputting the following key words in any Internet search engine.

Floating Hotels
Sleep Box Hotels
Aeroplane Hotels

Think about how different these hotel types are and what types of difficulties may be associated with the daily operational practices.

Hotel rating systems can generally be classified into two different categories: official and commercial.
Official rating systems refer to those implemented by government units, systems which are commercially-oriented are usually set up by associations or privately owned enterprises. Hotel ratings are often used to classify hotels according to their quality, with the purpose of informing customers about hotel facilities and amenities.

There are a wide variety of rating schemes in use around the world. Many have a system involving stars, with a higher number of stars indicating higher quality. Click on the stars below to view some of the hotel features or services taken into consideration when establishing a grade/rating.

Two examples of commercially-oriented hotel rating systems are developed by the Mobil Travel Guide (re-branded as Forbes Travel Guide in 2009) and the American Automobile Association (AAA).

These two key organizations give ratings to hotels according to objective criteria such as facilities, scales and staff to room ratios.

The Mobil Travel Guide introduced the ‘star-award’ system and the AAA has also applied a similar concept - ‘diamond-award’ which are used for rating those participating hotels under a five-point scale from 1 to 5 in a regular basis.

The assessments of hotels are conducted by ‘mystery shoppers’ which usually consist of industry professionals and frequent travelers. Comparatively, visitors worldwide are more familiar with the ratings of private bodies which act as standard indicators of hotels’ quality for visitors’ references.

Browse the Internet and find a five-star hotel that has a video promoting its services and facilities to the guests. What kinds of services and facilities are provided?