HOTELS AT WORLD LEVEL - Management Hotel

International hotels are the modern western-style hotels located in almost all metropolitan and other large cities as well as principal tourist centres. These hotels are luxury hotels and reclassified on the basis of an internationally accepted system of classification. The hotels are placed in various star categories. There are five such categories ranging from five star to one star, depending upon the facilities and services provided. These hotels provide, in addition to accommodation, all the other facilities which make the stay a very comfortable and interesting experience. These facilities include well-appointed reception and information counter, banquet halls, conference facilities, etc. There are also a number of shops, travel agency, money changing and safe deposit facilities. Restaurant facilities, bars and banqueting are an integral part of the business of a hotel. The various services provided in these hotels include international and local cuisine, food and beverage service and specialty restaurant service. These hotels also provide entertainment for the guests in the form of various dance and music programmes, sports and games.

A number of these hotels belong to the luxury category. There are some international chains which own a large number of such luxury hotels. Hotels belonging to international chains are mostly owned by public companies and controlled by a Board of Directors. These hotels have various departments which are managed by persons qualified and experienced in the field of hoteliering. The chief of the hotel designated as General Manager is responsible for the overall management and operation of the hotel through his departmental heads. International hotels are suitable for metropolitan cities and for other large business and commercial towns and principal tourist centres. The potential of these hotels is therefore limited to these areas. A number of this type of hotels have conference/ convention facilities and are suitable for holding meetings, conventions and conferences.

Resort Hotels : Resort hotels cater to the needs of the holiday-maker, the tourist and those, who by reasons of health, desire a change of atmosphere. Resort hotels are located near the sea, mountain and other areas abounding in natural beauty. Rest, relaxation and entertainment are the key factors around which resorts are built. The primary motive of a person visiting them is rest and relaxation which he is looking for, away from his routine, busy work life.

The resort hotels, in order to provide special services to the visitors, are built to give a visitor special welcome and an atmosphere of informality. The type of services and amenities located in resort property include recreation facilities such as swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts, skiing, boating, surfriding and various indoor sports. Other important amenities include coffee shops, restaurants, conference rooms, lounge, shopping arcade and entertainment. Emphasis in resort hotels, however, is on recreational facilities. The clientele of resort hotels is mostly persons with considerable income looking for relaxation and recreation. Resort hotels rarely attract commercial patronage.

Resorts can be of various types and can be classified on the basis of climate and topography. Broadly they fall in the following categories:

  1. Summer resorts,
  2. Winter resorts
  3. Hill resorts,
  4. All season resorts, and
  5. Health resorts.

A majority of the resort hotels are seasonal establishments which work to capacity during the high tourist season. Generally the high tourist season is the period when there are holidays at educational institutions. However, in recent years many of the resort hotels, with a view to extend the season, provide certain special facilities and various other concessions to the guests.

The concessions provided include reduced tariffs, free entertainment, sightseeing, gifts, etc.

Commercial Hotels : The commercial hotels direct their appeal primarily to the individual traveller as compared to international or resort hotel where the focus is on group travel. Most of the commercial hotels receive guests who are on business although some have permanent guests. As the hotel caters primarily to people who are visiting a place for commerce or business, these are located in important commercial and industrial centres of large towns and cities. These hotels are generally run by the owners and their success depends on their efficient running and the comfort and facilities they provide. In some of the large industrial towns, fully licensed commercial hotels exist complete with restaurants, grill room, functional accommodation and a garage for those travelling by automobile.

Residential Hotels : These hotels can be described as apartment houses complete with hotel services. These are often referred to as apartment hotels. The tariff of rooms in these hotels is charged on monthly, half-yearly or yearly basis and is charged for either furnished or unfurnished accommodation. These hotels, which are located mostly in big cities, operate exclusively under the European plan where no meals are provided to the guests. These hotels were developed in the United States of America where people discovered that permanent living in hotels offers many advantages. Services and amenities provided in these hotels are comparable to those of an average wellregulated home. These are very popular in the United States and western Europe where these are also popularly known as Pension.

Floating Hotels : As the name suggests, these hotels are located on the surface of the water. It may be on the sea or on a lake. All the facilities and services of a hotel are provided here and these are very popular in many countries. In some countries old luxury ships have been converted into floating hotels and are very popular among tourists. The atmosphere they provide is exclusive and exotic. In India, floating hotels in the form of houseboats are very popular with tourists.

Capsule Hotels : Capsule hotel is the newest innovation in the budget hotel market. The first of its kind was opened in Osaka in Japan in the year 1979, as a spin-off of the 1970s fashion in Japanese architecture for capsules. These have now sprung up in increasing numbers in big cities of Japan.

The capsule is a box made of glass-reinforced plastic or cement, open either at one side or one end, in which are concentrated some of the functions of a traditional hotel room bed, a clock, radio, TV, flexible lighting, a box for valuables and a miniature table for writing. Rooms in a capsule hotel generally are lined up in double-decker fashion along a central aisle as in a sleeping compartment of a train. Toilets and washrooms, vending machine room, and lounge are close by on each floor, of the hotel. The functions of each capsule are controlled and monitored by a central computer system and the security is controlled by close circuit TV cameras. The hotels cater mainly to business travellers. The low tariff and vintage locations are the major factors for their popularity. The hotels are well located near major transportation centres in Japan’s largest cities.

Airport Hotels : Airport hotels, as the name suggests, are located near the airports primarily to cater to the needs of transit passengers, airport crew as also passengers of delayed or cancelled flights. The various facilities provided in these hotels are designed to offer comfort and convenience to the air travellers. The various services may include parking and shuttle service to and from the airport terminal. The hotels may also provide services for business travellers for organising meetings, conferences and conventions etc.

Space Hotels : Space tourism is probably just another decade or so away. A brand new phenomenon in the hotel stay to be available in space travel would be called ‘Skotel’. It would perhaps be the world’s first airborne hotel. In the initial stages, space travel may start off as suborbital flights which would mean taking off in a shuttle and staying put in space for a few days. It may limit to flying off from an airport orbiting the earth once and then landing back on it. According to the International Institute of Tourism Studies, space tourism is broadly applied to the concept of paying customers travelling beyond earth’s atmosphere. It can include parabolic flight, vertical suborbital flights, orbital flights lasting upto three days or week-long stays at a floating space hotel, including participatory educational, research and entertainment experiences as well as space sports competitions.

Many experts have conceived different designs and ideas regarding the structure of space hotels. Some experts feel that space hotels wouldn’t be anything more than clusters of prefabricated cylindrical modules. Inside these cylinders there could be lots of fun. Since there would be zero gravity one may find the bar of the hotel merrily perched on the ceiling, while the other guests laze on the ground below. Studies are, however, going ahead on Space Hotel concepts. Some of these concept hotels including one called space Hotel Europe can room around 50 guests. Most travel specialists would advertise them as elevated or uplifted establishments, since space hotels would be above earth hotels simply because of the physical reality of being airborne or floating in space.

Supplementary Accommodation : Supplementary accommodation may be of various types other than the conventional hotel type. Although hotels have been and still are the principal form of accommodation, there has been a growth and development of some other forms in various parts at the world. Supplementary accommodation can be classified on the basis of its location, type of construction, type of management, etc. A study of these indicates that their diversity is a reflection of the specific nature of each one and their names simply indicate various ways in which one and the same function can be fulfilled or a need can be satisfied.

Supplementary accommodation may be described as the premises which offer accommodation, but not the services, of a hotel. Services provided here is minimal and not comprehensive as in the case of hotel establishments.

All establishments under the heading of supplementary accommodation are designed to offer the possibility of stay overnight and meals in return for cash payment per day and on the basis of services provided. The standard of comforts is modest compared to that of a hotel. On the other hand, however, there are certain inherent advantages in this type of accommodation. The biggest advantage is that of price. It is moderately priced. In addition, the atmosphere is informal and there is more freedom with regard to dress, etc. There is also more emphasis on entertainment and sports resulting in increased social contact among the guests.

Supplementary accommodation plays a very important role in the total available tourist accommodation in a country and can cater to both international as well as domestic tourist traffic. In fact, in some countries more tourists utilise this type of accommodation than hotels. In France and Italy as also in some other countries in Europe and elsewhere there are more campers than there are hotel clients. The following are some of the principal forms of supplemental accommodation:

  1. Motel
  2. Youth Hostel
  3. Camping Sites
  4. Pension
  5. Bed and Breakfast Establishments and
  6. Tourist Holiday Villages.

Motel : The concept of motel and motel-hotel originated in the United States of America. Motel was meant for local motorists and foreign tourists travelling by road. Primarily designed to serve the needs of motorists, motels almost exclusively meet the demand for transit accommodation. They serve the function of a transit hotel except that they are geared to accommodate motor travelling guests for overnight stay. The important services provided by motels include parking, garage facilities, accommodation, restaurant facilities, public catering and recreational facilities. Hence all motels are equipped with filling stations, repair services, accessories, garages, parking space, “elevator service to the automobile, restaurants, etc. There are also equipment and tools available which the guest can use himself if he wishes to repair his vehicle. The price charged for accommodation and meals/refreshments is much cheaper as compared to that in hotels.

Motels are mostly located outside the city limits in the countryside along the main highway and preferably at an important road junction. Since these establishments cater mainly for persons travelling by road, their development is linked with the development of new motorways along which these are necessarily located. Motels are of different types. Some provide just the minimum services while others are well-furnished, with comfortable accommodation and excellent facilities. The accommodation provided is of a chalet type, which is furnished, having a dining hall and a fixed menu. Shopping facilities for travelling public are also provided.

In many countries, especially the United States of America, motel accommodation is ranked with hotel accommodation and subject to general standards applicable to the hotel industry. In countries like Norway, France, Ireland, Turkey, etc., specific legislation has been introduced for motels. This includes requirements for the approval of plans, easy access of cars, minimum capacity, provision of restaurant where necessary, minimum standards for facilities and provision of petrol pump or service station where they exist and model classification standards similar to those for hotels. For instance, in France, there are three categories designated by stars, the classification being based on location, sanitary fittings and collective amenities. An increasingly important segment of the accommodation industry, motels are looked upon as a distinct asset, as these have enabled the industry to meet the changes in travel patterns and personal preferences of the modern day traveller.

Youth Hostels : Youth hostels made their first appearance in Germany in the form of a movement in about the year 1900. The movement which spread rapidly all over the world was based on the need of city youth to travel throughout the country. In order to provide some sort of accommodation and services the dormitories in the inns were equipped with cots, mattresses, sheets and blankets. Large rooms in inns were used as dining and living places providing full board at low cost to the guests. There was also provision of additional kitchen where travellers could prepare their own meals. Since the movement was started with a view to encouraging youth to travel in order to learn and know more about the country and also to socialise, it had an educational value. As such, no service was provided in the inn. The persons staying in the inn were themselves required to look after the inn. Subsequently, exclusive youth hostel buildings were constructed to accommodate young travellers.

A Youth hostel can be defined as a building which offers clean, moderate and inexpensive shelter to young people exploring their own country or other countries and travelling independently or in groups on holiday or for educational purposes. It is a place where young people of different social backgrounds and nationalities meet and come to know each other. The objective of youth hostels, therefore, is not merely to provide accommodation and board, but also to serve as centres which offer an opportunity to young people coming from different parts of the country, as also young travellers from abroad, to know and understand each other. It is a place of friendship, recreation and out-of-school and college education.

The youth hostels are equipped to accommodate young men and women who travel on foot, by bicycle or other means of locomotion and who, at very little cost, are provided with a place to sleep, eat or to make their own meal. The services provided include accommodation, meals and also recreation. The charges for these services are very modest. The hostels are also equipped to enable the users to prepare their own meals if they so desire. The accommodation provided in the hostels is for a limited number of days.

In most countries, youth hostels are developed and managed by non-commercial organisations whose main aim is the development of youth tourism. Since World War II, the number of such hostels has increased greatly. These hostels are now planned to provide comfortable accommodation as also such other services and facilities which are required by youth. Also he number of those using these hostels has grown tremendously. Many hostels receive an increasing number of groups and organise stays for winter sports or sailing.

The construction of youth hostels is based on certain norms laid down from time to time all over the world. International requirements for these include provision of separate dormitories for men and women, appropriate and clean toilets, washrooms for both men and women, a kitchen where hostelers can prepare their own meals, common rooms, living accommodation for warden and a left-luggage room. There is also a provision of a kitchen where warden and staff can prepare meals to supply to hostelers, separate small room for instructors, a dining room and classroom for school parties and a warden’s office. Some youth hostels have playgrounds attached for the use of hostelers.

The International Youth Hostel Federation has laid down certain minimum requirements for accommodation in the youth hostels. These include:

  1. separate dormitories for men and women with separate entrances;
  2. Separate toilets and washrooms for men and women with separate entrances;
  3. A members’ kitchen where hostelers can prepare their own meals;
  4. A common room, separate from members’ kitchen, wherever possible;
  5. Living accommodation for warden(s), on the premises wherever possible.

Caravan and Camping Sites : Caravan and camping sites constitute a significant accommodation category in many holiday areas. These are very popular in some European countries as in the United States of America. These are also known as openair hostels, tourist camps or camping grounds. Camping, originally practised by hikers on foot, is increasingly giving way to car camping.

The sites are usually located within the large cities in open spaces. Equipped to receive mobile accommodation in the form of caravans, the camping sites provide facilities for parking, tent pitching, water, electricity, toilet, etc. Though the services provided generally include restaurants, recreational rooms, toilets and at certain places a grocers shop, the type of services often vary from place to place.

Some countries have enacted legislation establishing the minimum facilities that must be provided and these include health and sanitation standards, prices to be charged for parking and use of various services and facilities.

Pension : This type of accommodation is very popular in certain European countries. Particularly in Italy, Austria, Germany and Switzerland these establishments are used extensively by the tourists. Pension is also described as a private hotel, a guest house or a boarding house.

Catering facilities are optional and are usually restricted to the residents. Many of them stay for longer and definite periods such as a week or a fortnight. The reservation of accommodation is made in advance. Mostly managed by a family, a pension is much cheaper than a hotel.

Bed and Breakfast Establishments : Also known in some countries as apartment hotels and hotel garnis, they represent a growing form of accommodation units catering for holiday as well as business travellers. These establishments provide only accommodation and breakfast but not the principal meals. These are usually located in large towns and cities, along commercial and holiday routes and also resort areas and are used by enroots travellers. Some of these are very popular with holidaymakers.

Tourist Holiday Villages : Tourist villages were established in some European countries after World War II. These are situated at warm seaside’s and in the regions which offer certain facilities for tourists. In Italy and Spain, tourist villages are located in the regions not economically developed, thereby helping the region economically. The villages are mostly promoted by important clubs, social and tourist organisations.

The village complex is a centre of accommodation providing extensive sports and recreation facilities, riding, swimming, tennis, volleyball, football, sauna, mini-golf, badminton, table tennis and yoga. These provide both board and lodging. The atmosphere in these villages is kept as informal as possible. Telephones, radios, newspapers and TV are banned unless there is an emergency. Wallets and other valuables are locked away at the beginning of one’s stay.

The staff are chiefly educated young people who live on an equal basis with the holiday-makers. The accommodation provided is usually in multiple units and many provide for self catering. The furnishing provided in the rooms is minimal. The easy mixing of guests is encouraged by the banning of advance booking of tables in the village restaurants. One rarely finds oneself sitting with the same group twice.

The holiday villages are usually based on family units, each providing a convertible living room, bath/shower and sometimes a kitchen. The villages are self-sufficient, providing almost all necessities required by the residents. There is also a small shopping complex where one can buy articles of daily need. The services of a doctor are available. The accommodation is sold for a week or a fortnight at an all-inclusive price. In Spain and Italy, these are classified into three categories according to the services and amenities provided.

Time-share and Resort Condominiums : Through timeshare and condominium concepts a tourist has a unique range of options for resort holiday and lodging. In the case of condominiums, a tourist owns a room or a suite within a condominium or hotel complex and uses the same as required by him or it can be rented to other tourists. The owned condominiums usually are within the complex of rooms or suites that are rented as regular hotel or resort rooms. It is difficult of tell the difference between an owned and a rented room. Time-share on the other hand is a modification of condominium ownership. The units are owned partially. The time-share owner may own one-fifth of a unit thereby sharing the unit’s use and costs. In some cases the owner may only purchase a certain set of weeks to use the unit. In other cases, a group of investors may jointly own a property through actual deeds. The time-share title implies that the unit is shared with others throughout the year.

Time-share began in the French Alps during the mid sixties. However, it was in USA that the concept began to take a proper shape. It is said that Time-share was born when distressed real estate developers of United States in the Florida region, could not sell their second homes in the mid-seventies and decided to sell one apartment fifty times over for each week of the year. Holiday time-share brings a number of benefits not only to the buyer and developer but also to the holiday resort areas and the traditional suppliers of services to the holiday industry.

Today, time-share owners have the choice of trading the use of their units with others. This provides the owners a unique opportunity to vacation at comparable prices at destinations throughout the world. May time-share companies are available to help time-share owners locate others interested in exchanging units.

Time-share today has become quite popular with holidaymakers especially with families. It offers high quality accommodation and associated amenities ideal for repeat visitors. It also offers better price and value than a hotel room for extended stays and is a hedge against room rate inflation. Timeshare offers flexibility of use and a variety of experiences through exchange options as also peripheral benefits offered through an exchange company.

Regulation of Accommodation : Tourist accommodation is an important component of a tourist plant. As an individual product it is intangible, often bought in advance of its use. The tourist at the time of making purchases thus cannot inspect or accept or reject. Accommodation as such, raises some issues in its development and in its marketing, both as an individual product and as a part of a package.

It creates a need for reliable and accurate information for both the tourists and the travel agents, and therefore, may require supervision and control. An individual operator needs to bring information about his accommodation to the tourist before he sets off on his journey and also when he reaches his destination. Similarly the tourist on the other hand, needs to know in detail what accommodation is available at what price in a particular destination from which he can make a choice about where to stay. Schemes of classification, registration and grading of the tourist accommodation are intended to meet these requirements.

The United Nations Conference on International Travel and Tourism held in Rome in the year 1963 also emphasised the need for some sort of regulation of accommodation with a view to safeguard the interests of the users. Considering that special attention should be given to relations between the public authorities and the operators of tourist accommodation facilities, the conference advocated the adoption of a hotel trade charter codifying the regulations applicable to the hotel industry and, in particular, giving official tourist organisations powers enabling them to perform the activities devolving on the state in that field.

The conference observed that many states classify tourist hotels or are considering doing so. Acting upon the recommendations put forward by the International Chamber of Commerce, the conference advocated the standardisation of methods of classification and in particular the subdivision of hotels into five categories, each identified by a conventional sign (stars) in conformity with the sets of standards appropriate to different climatic conditions. The conference also considered the question of classifying supplementary means of accommodation such as tourist bungalows and camps.

Registration : The aim of registration is to provide a complete list or register of tourist accommodation within a particular definition. A registration scheme results in an inventory of accommodation which can be kept up-to-date. In order to be comprehensive, it normally has to have statutory legal authority and is administered by a government authority or a statutory body. Because of the wider range of accommodation used by the tourists, a scheme of registration should normally cover all forms of accommodation used by them.

Gradation : Grading separates accommodation into different categories or grades, on the basis of judgments such as standards of amenities and service. A grading scheme provides qualitative judgments on the amenities and facilities of a particular accommodation unit in a form which enables the user to choose the quality of accommodation he requires. This may refer to the physical facilities, food and other services of the establishment, various amenities provided, etc. The establishments are graded individually or collectively by way of giving them numbers, letters or symbols.

Classification : The chief aim of classification is to maintain standardisation of services and security for tourists. By establishing uniform standards of classification, it is easier for all concerned with tourism (tour operators, travel agents, tourist enterprise and tourists themselves) to know exactly what standard of services is offered by each hotel (according to the number of stars) thus leading to more effective uniformity both in statistics and in regulatory and control standards. The adopted scheme envisages that hotel establishments are to be divided into five categories, symbolised by stars, and based on objective standards. The categories are assigned on the basis of two types of requirements:

  1. minimum requirements common to all categories, as stated in the classification scheme, concerning health, sanitary, material and staff standards;
  2. minimum requirements for each category, expressed as specific conditions for the hotel (as a building), the rooms, additional accommodation, facilities and guest service. The classification scheme is intended as a guide for National Tourism Administrations in their efforts to perfect a classifications system in collaboration with the hotel sector, on the basis of the principles set forth in the scheme. The classification system is to be adopted in a flexible manner so that any establishment failing to comply with a particular, though not fundamental requirement, would not be downgraded provided it complied with all other requirements.

International Hotel Association (IHA) : Founded on 18th March, 1946 in London on the initiative of Societe Suisse des Hoteliers, the International Hotel Association (IHA) replaced the International Hotel Men’s Association set up in June 1869 and International Hotel Alliance set up in April 1925. The main aim of the new association was to bring together members who could be of mutual benefit to each other. The IHA was registered by a French Ministerial Decree of 23 September 1949 having its headquarters in Paris.

The priority objectives of IHA include the protection and coordination of hotel interests in their relations with travel agencies who often play an important intermediary role between hotels and clients. Through the IHA/UFTAA Convention, there is a formal codification and confirmation of international practice governing relations between hoteliers and travel agencies. It informs hoteliers on their rights concerning payment, commission, cancellation, late arrival or no-show and relevant compensations.

Membership : IHA has a membership spanning 160 countries, comprising hotels and restaurants whether chains, both national or international, or individual establishments, who wish to participate directly in the Associations activities, even whilst being represented by their National Associations.

In addition, there are hotels and tourist personalities as individual members. A filiates like hotel schools, training centres, tourist organisations, suppliers and services companies etc. also participate in IHA activities. The Association today represents more than 700,000 hotels and restaurants throughout 160 countries and more than seven million hotel industry wage earners.

There are over 90 National Hotel Association members of the IHA. Each Association has the right to send delegates to vote their numbers being determined by the number of hotels who are members of the Association in the respective country. Independent hotels, which constitute about 80 per cent of IHA membership, are entitled to the numerous services offered to IHA.

All members receive a personalised membership card which entities them to 25 per cent discount on accommodation in IHA member hotels.

Objectives and Aims : The aims of IHA include the following:

  1. to federate National Hotel Association of all countries;
  2. to study problems affecting the international hotel industry and international tourist traffic including re-establishment of free traffic, economic policy for hotels and restaurants, hotel guides, international currency exchange, hotel insurance and conditions of work and personnel;
  3. to create an international employment service for qualified hotel personnel and for the exchange of apprentices;
  4. to inform members of international problems concerning hotels; and
  5. to give commercial information concerning travel agencies.

The Structure : The association has a General Congress which meets at least every two years, an Executive Committee consisting of 30 members and a Council having 180 members. The Association is headed by the President and assisted by a Deputy President and five Vice Presidents. There is a General Secretariat responsible for looking after administrative and personnel matters. Planning and Finance Committee looks after all matters pertaining to finances including membership. Publications Committee is responsible for various publications of the association and their distribution. In addition, the following Functional Committees look after various subjects of the Association:

  1. Industry Economic Committee;
  2. Sub-Committee on Computerisation;
  3. Travel Agencies and Commercial Relations Committee;
  4. Seasonal and Resort Hotels Sub-Committee;
  5. Legal Committee; and
  6. Labour Relations and Training Committee.

One of the most important activities of IHA is, however, the provision of a wide range of practical services for hoteliers interested in attracting business from all over the world. The services include the following: Annual IHA international meetings are held where the most pressing issues confronting the large hotel chains”, individual hotel owners, and service and supply companies are addressed. These meetings provide an ideal environment in which members can exchange valuable ideas, promote individual properties, and discuss specific problems and concerns of the industry.

International Hotel Guidebook: An annual listing of all IHA members is provided to members free of charge. The guide is an automatic sales tool: used by travel agents, hoteliers, airlines, international corporations and business and professional offices world wide promoting all the properties and services listed. Hotels & Restaurants International, a bimonthly magazine published in the US, with a special IHA section in every issue. This magazine keeps the industry well informed of all the activities of the IHA, its members and councils.

International Bibliography : A publication listing books in western languages concerning hotel-related information, administration, proper management, hotel catering, etc. available to members upon request.

The World Directory of Travel Agents, a valuable reference book for hoteliers, listing 6,000 reliable travel agencies approved by the IHA. All listed agencies must belong to their national association, and must be in business for at least one year. Debt Recovery Service is available to members upon request. The IHA intervenes and assists member hotels to claim payments overdue from foreign travel agencies.

Statistical Service on Payment Incidents, is a subscription service offered to members. Monthly lists are provided of at least 100 slow-paying travel agencies worldwide. Confidential information concerning travel agents is available upon request.

International Hotel Training and Staff Placement : The IHA brings together hoteliers and distinguished specialists in hotel education. The IHA offers a hotel trainee network that facilitates the mobility and coordination of hotel training worldwide. The network also organises introductions for the placing of upper management.

Documentation Centre : The IHA provides members with a wide and varied range of information on the hotel and tourism industries. For example, the IHA member may obtain lists of hotel publications, information on public utility charges, tariffs and all relevant hotel and industry material.

IHA Membership Card : This card entitles the member to a 25 per cent discount on accommodations in other IHA member hotels worldwide. It encourages referral business the year round and is a valuable sales tool in low seasons.

Accommodation Volume and Use : The number of rooms that are available to the travelling public within lodging facilities varies from country to country and from region to region. Within a country most of the accommodation units will be located where the demand for these is very big.

The demand will be more near the location of tourist attractions both natural or man made. Internationally the demand for accommodation will be more pressing in the regions which receive more tourists. Today Europe and America are the regions which receive maximum share of world tourists and it is here that the largest number of accommodation units are located.

According to World Tourism Organisation (WTO) estimates, or a survey conducted by them, the total capacity of hotels and similar establishments like motels, boarding houses and inns is over 20 million bed places.

The largest accommodation capacity is, however, available in the continent Europe which is about 10 million bed places in the hotel industry proper. This constitutes about half of the total bed places available all over the world. The explanation for this is that the demand for both international and domestic tourists in Europe is maximum.

In several European countries, hotel development is concentrated in small and medium -sized hotel constructions. In many countries, within the framework of general expansion of the accommodation sector, the increase in hotel accommodation was outstripped by the increase in supplementary means of accommodation, such as camping and caravan sites, rented rooms, apartments, etc.

This type of accommodation has become the main provider of lodging for domestic tourism and has also started to play a very-significant role in international tourism. In America the total capacity of hotels and similar establishments increased significantly in several countries of the regions.

In East Asia and the Pacific region, several countries are currently enjoying a hotel-building boom. In South Asia, the countries of the region are undertaking great efforts to develop the accommodation sector. In the Middle East, hotel construction in the region is mainly concentrated on luxury-class hotels intended chiefly to cater to business travellers. In view of the high profitability, there are many hotel projects which are under construction. In the African region, accommodation facilities are concentrated in the northern part of the continent.

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