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Accommodation is a key component of the tourism industry.

The wide range of accommodation on offer is designed to meet customer needs. Destinations seek to provide accommodation of all types to meet needs and budgets.
Accommodation can be categorised in many ways:
. Self-catering or catered
. Levels of service
. Types of ownership
. Quality of accommodation
. Size
. Chain or independent
Accommodation is rated on a 1 - 5 star basis.
Different countries may operate the rating system slightly differently so it is not uniform around the world.
Several organisations are involved in the rating system for example in Britain the AA and Visit Britain award stars for accommodation.
Ratings covers size of rooms, services and facilities.
Caravan and campsites are similarly rated.

Accommodation definitions

Hotel - An establishment that provides travellers with paid accommodation and other guest services. Depending on size, location, and amenities, hotels are generally rated from one-star to five stars, but letter grading (from “A” to “F”) and other rating schemes are also used to categorise hotels across the world.
Hostel - Ideal for budget travellers and backpackers, a hostel is a cheap type of accommodation, usually with shared bedrooms and communal facilities.
Motel - Originally designed for motorists, motels are roadside hotels equipped with minimal amenities and but with good parking areas for motor
Cottage - In today’s tourism sector, the term cottage is used to describe a small country house.
Chalet - Chalets are wooden Alpine-style buildings commonly found in and around mountain resorts.
Boutique Hotel - Often furnished in a themed, individual style, these are intimate in size and focus on providing guests with high-quality, personalised experiences.
Lodge - Although the wordlodge' has many different meanings, one of them refers to a small wooden house often by a lake, or in the mountains.
Timeshare - A timeshare is a type of vacation property with shared ownership and use rights. The term first appeared in the United Kingdom during the ‘60s and has multiple variations today, both in style and type of proprietorship. Moreover, choosing a timeshare can be a smart alternative to staying in a hotel room, offering superior amenities and better value.
Riad - A traditional Moroccan house built around a central courtyard, often converted into a boutique hotel or guesthouse.
Resort - Although a resort is primarily known as a destination frequented by vacationers in search of relaxation and entertainment, the term is also used to describe a full service accommodation that offers extensive guest services and recreational facilities.
Villa - Originated in Roman times, a villa is often described as a luxurious country residence.
Apartment - Also known as flat (British), an apartment is a self-contained accommodation unit housed in a building containing a number of such units.
Camp - A collection of tents, huts, or other temporary structures used for travellers to lodge in.
Bed and Breakfast - A Bed + Breakfast (B&B) is an intimate, independently run lodging establishment, where breakfast is included in the room rate.
Inn - A small establishment offering overnight accommodation, food, and drink to travellers.
Finca - A Spanish rural property, usually characterised by traditional architecture and an agricultural heritage.
Penthouse - An apartment situated on the highest floor of a building, commonly appointed with luxury amenities.
Chateau - In Bordeaux, the term chateau is synonymous with vineyard estates, but it can also be used to describe a French country house.
Pension - A type of guesthouse or B&B, where in addition to lodging and breakfast, guests are also offered lunch and dinner. Pensions are usually family-run and cost less than other accommodation options.
Yurt - Popular in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey, yurts are circular tents now used as holiday accommodation.
Tent - Used outdoors, a tent is a portable shelter made of fabric and supported by a frame or poles.
Motor home of RV - Usually used for traveling, an RV is a recreational vehicle outfitted with the amenities found in a home, including bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping facilities. Depending on region, RVs are also called caravans, camper vans, or motorhomes.
Castle - A fortified building or group of buildings built across Europe and the Middle East during the medieval period. offer royal-style accommodation in sumptuous historic surroundings.
Palace - Unlike castles, palaces are not fortified, but they still are royal residences characterised by an exceptional level of grandeur. Some of the most spectacular palaces converted into luxurious hotels can be found throughout Asia and Europe, especially India and Italy.
Tented Safari Camp - A tented safari camp is a permanent campsite of large accommodation units, usually with canvas walls, solid high-quality furnishings, en-suite bathroom facilities, and private decks for observing wildlife. Situated throughout Africa, they range from comfortable to ultra-luxury and offer a wide range of safari based activities.
Farmhouse - Although their styles vary by region, farmhouses are houses attached to a farm or were former farms.
Extended Stay Hotel - Extremely popular throughout the US, extended stay hotels offer the comforts of a traditional home along with discounted rates for guests interested in long-term stays.
Private Island Resort - Ideal for honeymooners and travellers in search of luxury and seclusion, private island resorts are some of the most exclusive accommodation types there is.
Cave Hotel - Cave hotels are exactly what the name implies – hotels built into natural cave formations, commonly with underground rooms. Many cave hotels can be found in Turkey (Cappadocia) and Greece.
Guesthouse - A guest house or guesthouse is a private house offering inexpensive accommodation to tourists.
Business Hotel - Catered primarily to business travelers, business hotels are strategically located (downtown, in business districts, or close to major business centres) and come equipped with corporate facilities such as meeting and conference rooms, Internet access, and catering options.
Design Hotel - A design hotel is a stylish and intimate hotel with an emphasis on design, service, and luxury facilities. Their rooms are exquisitely decorated and often packed with the latest technology features.
Hacienda - The term hacienda is used to describe a ranch or a main house in a landed estate in Spanish speaking-countries.
Eco Hotel - An eco hotel is an environmentally friendly accommodation aiming to promote sustainable tourism and green living through the use of renewable energy sources, recycled materials, and organic locally-sourced produce. Their philosophy is to minimize the impact on the environment.
Capsule Hotel - Popular in Japan, the capsule hotel is a unique type of hotel that usually provides cheap, basic overnight accommodation in a number of teeny-tiny functional rooms called “capsules”.
Aparthotel - A smart choice for long-term accommodation, aparthotels or apartment hotels combine the comfort and independence of a private apartment with the services of a hotel.

Hotel operations

Economies of operation and scale of investment
. Range:
huge range of accommodation, many small independent hotels
+ large international chain hotels = multiples
. Multiples: same/similar type of accommodation, same quality standards
Multiples have purchasing power = economies of scale eg mattresses & pillows
Refurbishment of hotels = 5 - 7 years to meet customer expectations
Around the world there is different ownership models there are variations

How to measure an efficient operation
. Occupancy rate
measures the number of rooms being occupied over a year.
. Average daily (room) rate
measures the average income per room over a year.



Accommodation can be categorised by the level of catering it offers.

All types of accommodation offers either catering or non catered (self-catering)

Catered accommodation

Catered accommodation can included in most types of accommodation.
Catering takes many forms.

. Breakfast
Breakfast is provided in the widest range
examples: hotels, bed and breakfast, guest houses, serviced apartments,

. Half-board
This includes breakfast and dinner. Half-board is typically offered by tourist hotels.

. Full board
This increasingly popular option is usually available in larger hotels in tourist destinations.

. All inclusive
Tour operators and larger hotels are increasingly offering all inclusive holiday and accommodation. All inclusive holidays includes most aspects including flights, transfers, accommodation and food and beverage.

All inclusive prices varies with different options available.

Different price levels offer different levels of restaurants and drinks that are included. Entry level will include unlimited soft drinks and some alcohol. The more expensive options will have everything included e.g. fine dining and branded alcohol

Self-catered accommodation

Accommodation can also be non catered or self-catering.
Self-catering accommodation provides cooking facilities. This can range from basic facilities like a microwave and hob to full kitchens.
Self-catering is particularly popular with families.

. Hotels
Some hotels offer accommodation only., though not typically tourist hotels. In the UK travel hotels - situated near to major roads off the option, of catering or non catering. e.g. Premier Inn

. Camp sites
Camp and caravan sites are self-catering though food may be available at cafes/restaurants on some sites

. Apartments - Cottages - Chalets -Air BnB
Accommodation often designed for families are typically non catered, but provide full facilities to allow for self-catering


Hotels: types

Hotels can be classified in a number of ways:
. Chain and independent
. Facilities and amenities
. Level of catering
. Standards of service

. Chain
Chain hotels are large companies with a large number of hotels in the country or across the world. Some of the world's largest companies have a range of brands at different price points.

. Independent
Independent hotels have only a few units

. Full board
This increasingly popular option is usually available in larger hotels in tourist destinations.

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Hotel: services

Hotel's are rated 1-5 star
- some hotels are now claiming to be 6 and 7 star as the scope of services and levels of luxury have increased.

. Services
The rating system is designed to give customers an understanding of what services to expect to find at the hotel based on the services they offer, these can include:
. ensuite facilities
. in room facilities (TV, hair drier, fridge, min bar etc)
. health clubs - spa - gym - fitness centre
. conference + business facilities
. swimming pool
. baby sitting service
. restaurants + bars (24 hour)
. room service
. reception (24 hours)

. Price
The price of a hotel is directly linked to the services they offer as well as the location of the hotel.
. Standard
Standards and number of those services will also affect a hotel's rating. For example: the number of restaurants and opening times; size of health and fitness facilities; number of swimming pools etc

Hotels: independent

. Independent
Independent hotels are single units or have only a few units.
Typically they are family run and many have been in the same family for a number of years. Number of rooms vary as do the facilities.
They can range from being in city centre to castles and chateaux's.
Their unique locations and high levels of personal service help them contribute to their success.

. Boutique
Often furnished in a theme and/or individualised. Limited number of rooms of high quality

Self-catering accommodation

Self-catering: AirBnB

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airbnb is an online platform where owners (hosts) rent out their properties to travellers and tourists.
airbnb take a commission from the renter and from the guests. It doesn't manage the properties, that is the responsibility of the hosts.

. airbnb accommodation
The accommodation varies enormously from renting a room in a house for one night to renting an island in the Caribbean.
Hosts offer apartments, houses, boats, lodges, and even windmills!
airbnbs can be found in most countries around the world.

Each host provides information about their property, with photos and list of the facilities. Guests book online and contact the host directly with any queries.

airbnbs are not without their controversies. Click the link for further information.
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Self-catering: Cottages - Houses

. Cottages - Houses
Country cottages and houses have been a good value option for families and groups. In some of the more popular destinations this option can be expensive but gives the room that families require.
Services are usually very limited, so may offer a cleaning service at an extra cost.
Those close to the beach may have access to beach equipment, canoes, paddle boards etc.
Others may offer cycles etc.

This type of accommodation is very popular with multi-generational families.
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Self-catering: Camping - Glamping

Camping accommodation has been popular for hundreds of years. This outdoors

. Camping
Campaign various enormously.
Wild camping consists of camping 'in the wild' with only your tent - no amenities.There are restrictions are where you can 'wild' camp.
Most camping takes place at campsites.

. Glamping
Glamping is luxury camping. Tents are semi permanent and typically have proper beds, heating and storage.

Camping and clamping sites can be basic with a few facilities to sites that have a wide range of amenities that can include:
. toilet + shower block
. cafe/restaurant
. shop
. play area
. swimming pool
. wifi
. cycles to rent

. Yurts
Yurts are increasingly popular as a form of clamping
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Self-catering: Caravans - Motor Homes

Caravans have been a popular self-catering accommodation option for many years.
Caravans are divided into two types the touring caravan and the static caravan.

. Touring caravans
Touring caravans are towed behind a vehicle and pitch at a site similar to camping. They are often combined as camping and caravan sites and often a range of facilities and services.
The Caravan andMotorhome Club (UK) is the leading

. Motorhomes
Motorhome members now make up 40% of the caravan club with huge growth in the last ten years.

. Static caravans
Static caravan sites host large caravans sleeping 4-8 people. These can be owned on the sites or rented out for holidays.
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Self-catering: Apartments

. Apartments
Independent apartments (AirBnB) and hotel apartments have grown in popularity in recent years in most city destinations. For families and groups they often represent better value for money with more space.
Many hotel chains also offer apartments in addition to their rooms offerings - facilities are then shared.
Fully equipped kitchens allow for full catering.
Services vary for apartment rental. Some apartments are beachside and have access to a beach, others will have a pool and perhaps a children's play area.
Other services can include:
. concierge
. security
. gym
. health club
. spa
. cleaning
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Other accommodation

Bed + Breakfast . Guest Houses . Youth hostels . Motels . Homestays . Boats

Bed + Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast accommodation is often known as B 'n' Bs, and includes Guest Houses.
Bed and breakfast usually refers to accommodation comprising of a small number of rooms in a large house, typically the owners live in the house as well, thus creating an authentic family atmosphere. Breakfast is provided though an evening meal and mini bar may be available in larger BnBs.
The standard of BnBs varies from a basic £40 a night to luxurious rooms nearer to £200 per night.

. Seaside bed and breakfast
Bed and breakfast accommodation grew with the advent of trains then cars with people wanting affordable rooms for a night or two typically over the weekend. The BnB landlady was born! The full English breakfast become synonymous with landladies and British BnBs.

. Boutique bed and breakfast
BnBs have evolved over the years and the offering now is very varied, with a very high standard of ensuite rooms in boutique BnBs combined with personal service to help create a competitive edge

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Guest house

There is little difference between a Guest House and a Bed + Breakfast - often Guest Houses offer more rooms (10+).

Like Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses offer limited facilities and services

They are often found in seaside destinations as well as in towns and cities.

Youth Hostels

Hostels are sometimes described as sociable hotels, (hoStels) where commutable living is encouraged.
Their aim is to provide cheap accommodation predominately in towns and cities. Though some are not that cheap anymore.

Like all accommodation there is a huge variation but traditionally hostels offer shared bedrooms (bunk beds), bathrooms and kitchens and sociable areas.
Nowadays some hostels offer private and family rooms with ensuite facilities

. Backpackers
Traditionally hostels were established for backpackers - young people traveling with backpacks seeking cheap accommodation for extended trips of weeks or months.

. Location
Hostels have become synonymous with you European and Aussie/Kiwis students taking a year out form their studies and travelling around South East Asia.

City hostels cater for young travellers seeking value accommodation in expensive cities. Due to high property values hostels here tend to have smaller rooms and less facilities.

Destinations popular with young people are where you can usually find hostels. For example, surf hostels and eco hostels.
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The Milestone Mo Tel - later to become the Motel Inn opened on 12 December, 1925, offering motorists a roadside lodging between San Francisco and Los Angeles at $2.00 a night.

In the USA the heyday of the motel was the 1950s and 1960s. President Eisenhower built inter state highways across the country leading to longer car journeys and the growing need for roadside accommodation.

The growth of motels in other countries was much slower as few countries had the distances between cities that the USA had.

In the 1970s and 1980s the USA large chain hotels started to dominate the market at the expense of the independent motels - Holiday Inn, Super 8 and Days Inn. The chain motels standardised the offerings - rooms, pools, ice machines, vending machines and cable TV.

Motels are frequently featured in movies - but rarely in a positive light, with horror classics including Bates Motel and Psycho

Home stays

Home stay is a type of accommodation is another person's home that allows the tourist to experience the authentic local culture lifestyle and language.
This accommodation is often seen as being more sustainable and a way of directly contributing to the local economy by directly supporting local host families.

Home stay can also include student accommodation provided by local families. This is typically for foreign language students studying for short periods of time or where exchange students stay with their host families in a different country.

Home stay has come in for criticism of late as more commercial home stays have sprung up around the world, which are not strictly homes - rather they are accommodation built in the local style, but not actually homes of local people.

Many homestay websites are now more like AirBnB than traditional home stays. caters for student and independent travellers

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Boat accommodation gives the option of moving around on the waterways of the country - either canals or rivers.

Narrow boats provide an alternative type of accommodation. on the canals. Extensive canal networks across the country means it is accessible for all. Canal boat hire is available for weekend or weekly breaks.
Other boats are available for hire to navigate the rivers.

Activities along the way include:
  • Walking and hiking
  • Nature trails
  • Cycling and mountain biking
  • Pub crawls
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Visiting historical sights
  • Day trips to towns and villages
  • Museums and art galleries
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