The accommodation sector has undergone substantial changes in recent years. New developments in tourism and transportation, changes in the organisation of travel and technological innovations are some of the factors which are responsible for these changes. In addition, increasing consumer demand among tourists, due in turn to the improvement in living standards and economic conditions, has also changed the profile of the accommodation sector.
All the above factors seem to have influenced the structure of the hotel industry as a whole. The tendency among middle income groups to take a holiday at any time of the year has encouraged accommodation operators to offer novel kinds of arrangements which are now available in addition to traditional hotel accommodation.
New types of accommodation, particularly holiday villages suitable for family-type tourists, condominiums and apartment houses, private villas and camping facilities have proved very successful and to a certain degree are replacing traditional hotels and boarding houses.
These changes reflect changes in demand with new, often younger, groups entering the international travel market and also new approaches to the problem of providing facilities in every competitive industry with a highly seasonal demand. The probable future developments in the accommodation sector were the subject of study undertaken in WTO’s research programme. Some conclusions which emerge from the study are as follows:
In recent times, several environmental problems have come to be recognised in the accommodation sector. Several environmentalists as well as users of accommodation are demanding that environmental issues associated with accommodation industry should be addressed properly. Tourists visit different places of tourist interest and consume various products they buy.
The consequences of the pressure of consumers on tourist services results in putting pressure on the environment. However, with few exceptions, industry owners are taking various steps to address the environmental issue in its proper perspective.
The various policies for the accommodation industry cover areas like environmental protection, energy conservation, waste reduction, emission reduction, recycling of waste, reduction of chemical usage and awareness and education of employees and the guests about environment.
The best possible arrangement is that the commitment for environment should have full support of the top management and that it should start with them. It should be an integral part of management practice and be communicated to all personnel. Once this is agreed, corporate policies can be implemented through management techniques such as environmental audits.
A proper and formal monitoring system that can be adopted to achieve the best possible results.
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