What aspects serve to define the hospitality industry? While many will provide common answers such as accommodations and logistics, the single factor which underpins the entire concept involves customer satisfaction. Let us take a look at the different facets of the hospitality sector in great detail to appreciate its true scope.

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What is the Hospitality Industry?

We have all heard of this term and yet, it is quite vague to those who are not familiar with the sector. Hospitality is actually one facet of the service industry. It primarily involves addressing customer satisfaction and catering the needs of guests. This can be addressed by dealing with issues such as lodging, amenities and travel arrangements. However, it is still important to break the concept of hospitality down into three sections for the sake of brevity and clarity. These concepts are undoubtedly already familiar to you:

  • Accommodations
  • Food and drink
  • Tourism and travel

Let’s now go ahead and take a look at each one in greater detail in order to appreciate the “bigger picture”.

An Overview of All Hospitality Sectors

1) Accommodations

Accommodations within the hospitality industry primarily involve where guests will be staying as well a the amenities that they are provided with. From luxury properties to budget hotels and hostels, each location is intended to suit your discrete needs. It can be argued that accommodations represent the veritable backbone of the hospitality sector and as a result, management will place a great deal of emphasis upon what they have to offer.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed-and-breakfast establishments combine a sense of convenience with a down-home flavour that is attractive to many individuals; particularly those who are constantly on the room. These tend to be smaller boutique properties and yet, their presence within the sector cannot be understated due to how many locations currently exist.


Hotels (both franchises and boutiques) are the most well-known properties within the hospitality sector. From brand names such as Hilton and Radisson to smaller brick-and-mortar establishments, guests expect to be provided with services and amenities that are equal to the price that they paid for the room in question. Hotels contribute billions of pounds in revenue to this industry every year.


Known for their sense of mobile convenience, motels are frequently employed by business travellers and those who are looking to enjoy budget-friendly prices while between two destinations. Having said this, some occupants will spend weeks or longer at a motel. Recent years have witnessed massive advancements in regards to technology as well as staff responsiveness.


Hostels are often associated with student travellers and yet, they can be used by anyone who desires a room for the evening. They are generally rented on a 24-hour basis and most hostels are located close to city centres (to provide easy access to those who are not familiar with the location). Hostels are also known for their ability to offer rock-bottom prices.


Resorts fall into the high end of the hospitality sector spectrum. Yoga retreats, wellness centres and properties designed to provide unfettered views of nature all fall into this category. If you have been looking for a home away from home while enjoying a bespoke sense of luxury, modern resorts aim to please.

Serviced Apartments

Services apartments are fully furnished properties that can be made available for both short- and long-term stays. Room service, daily housekeeping, access to fitness centres, and free wireless Internet connectivity are some of the hallmarks associated with these locations.

Time-Sharing Plans

This type of accommodation will divide up the amount of time that guests are allowed to stay. Each customer is provided with an arrival and departure date. Time shares are often associated with extremely popular tourist locations such as the Costa del Sol in Spain or the Algarve region of Portugal.

2) Food and Drink

The second hospitality sector is “Food and Drinks”. It is already a foregone conclusion that guests will need to be offered food and drink services during their stay. This is another cornerstone of hospitality in general, as the quality and availability of such items will often impact the overall customer experience and in turn the status of the hotel itself.


Restaurants represent a sizeable portion of the hospitality sector as a whole. These premises are often branded in accordance with the hotel and depending upon the amenities, some will even offer Michelin-starred service options. Guests will often base their overall experience around the quality of food that restaurants provide.


Hotels and resorts can often include catering services as a portion of their standard pricing plans. Larger properties will provide catering in order to address business luncheons, professional seminars and similar gatherings that restaurants might not be able to efficiently accommodate.

Bars & Cafés

Bars and cafes are excellent places to grab a quick refreshment or a tasty meal. Furthermore, they are known for their laid-back social atmosphere; a notable difference when compared to many in-house restaurants. Most properties will offer such options due to the fact that they tend to draw a reliable number of clients.


Some hotels are partnered with a proprietary in-house nightclub (Hotel W Barcelona is a perfect example). Nightclubs are an excellent means to obtain additional revenue and it is important to point out that the public is normally allowed to enter alongside guests of the property.

Tea and Coffee Shops

Whether referring to a proprietary bistro or a third-party firm such as Starbucks which has rented out space, tea and coffee shops offer an additional sense of convenience to guests during their stay. Providing wireless access alongside on-the-go services, these smaller establishments have become increasingly popular.

3) Hospitality Related Concerns

It is obvious that individuals will need to be provided with a timely means to arrive at their destination. Trains, aeroplanes, cruise liners, and even car hire services are all encompassed by this category. In fact, without this hospitality sector, the hospitality industry as a whole would cease to exist without the presence of such options.

Travel Agents

Travel agents essentially take on the role of intermediaries within the hospitality industry. They are often used by clients in order to expedite the process of booking a holiday and perhaps most importantly, finding the most appropriate levels of accommodations.

Tour Operators

Tour operators are professionals or firms which solely specialise in the provision of package holiday deals. They are often utilised by those looking for specific arrangements such as all-inclusive cruises or family packages.

Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s)

Online travel agencies are playing an increasingly important role within the hospitality sector due to their Internet presence. OTA’s are great options if you are looking to obtain amenable deals via online searches. There are also times when a free membership can offer additional benefits such as email alerts and substantial discounts if you book within a certain time frame.


Cruise liners are often paired with hotels due to the fact that ports of debarkation may be used by travellers for days at a time. In other words, it only makes sense that customers are provided with a quality property during their stay at various locations. Having said this, many franchised hotels have actually placed their properties on the ship itself.

Car Rental

A huge hospitality sector is “Car Rental”. Car hire services can be used in synergy with hotels by guests who are looking to avoid the hectic nature of public transportation. While these may be provided by travel agencies, they might also be able to be obtained directly at the property. There are times when the price of a care hire will be included within the overall holiday package.


The hotel-casino relationship has been another advancement within the hospitality industry. Supplying an amazing source of entertainment while allowing guests to stay in the same complex is an extremely attractive concept. Certain customers may also be provided with compensation packages (“comps”) in the form of casino credits or high-roller suites. Some notable examples include the MGM Grand Las Vegas, the Sands Monaco and the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Video: Hospitality Sectors Within the Hospitality Industry


The Hospitality Sector’s Emerging Trends

Every hospitality business owner must keep up-to-date with the most important trends in this sector in order to stay ahead of the game. What’s more, businesses operating within the hospitality industry must keep up with the travel and tourism’s wider industry so they can continue offering an excellent service to their prospective customers. In the article “Hospitality Trends: The Latest Trends in The Hospitality Industry” you find out the top trends in the hospitality industry.

Emerging Hospitality Marketing Trends

Hospitality marketing is a make or break tool for the travel and hotel industry. To remain abreast of your competitors, you must apply the latest digital marketing tools to your hospitality business. If the right strategies are used, you can increase revenue and enhance your brand’s image. By looking into how online users research and plan their travel tours and accommodation, you can create the perfect marketing strategy. In the article Latest Hospitality Marketing Trends” you will find the latest hospitality marketing  trends.

Top Tech Trends in the Hospitality Sector

Information technology is just as important for the hospitality industry as it is for any other sector. Businesses can improve and innovate processes and even enhance customer experiences through the help of technology. Today, guests want to be able to message the hotel staff, use the room service, and control the heating from their smartphone. By keeping up with the latest technology trends, hospitality businesses can stay ahead of the competition. In the article “The Latest Technology Trends in the Hospitality Industry” you will find the latest technology trends that hospitality companies should be aware of.

Revenue Management & Hospitality Sector

The concept of revenue management can be simplified as the optimisation of financial results. If the hotel and hospitality industry analyse their sales through historical, current and future data, they will be able to maximise revenues. Revenue management is a technique to forecast demand and optimise inventory including price availability. When done correctly, this will result in higher revenue. Discover the impact of revenue management on hospitality industry by referring to this informative guide, ‘Revenue Management; clearly explained!’.

Hospitality Management

Efficient hospitality and good service are highly important to any business. In the hospitality sector, the customer is always the main focus as they can make or break a business. To be able to succeed in hospitality management, you must always prioritise your customers’ needs. After all, a happy customer will recommend your business to two of their friends, while an unsatisfied one will tell 1000 people about their bad experience. Learn more about hospitality management with the help of this guide, ‘Hospitality Management: The Essentials About Hospitality’.

A Revenue Management & Hotel Marketing Guide for Hotel Managers

The idea of hotel marketing may seem like a daunting task for hotel owners, but it’s an essential part of managing rooms, pricing, guest service, and availabilities. With the emerging trends in revenue management and digital marketing, every hotel owner should be prepared to improve their brand through new digital channels. In the ‘Free Guide: Revenue Management & Hotel Marketing Strategies’, hotel owners can get the most essential tips on how to market their hotel business.

It should now be clear to appreciate the depth and breadth of the hospitality industry. Not only is the hospitality sector continuing to evolve at a breakneck pace, but you now have the ability to enjoy amenities and options that would have seemed to be impossible in the past.

Want to Learn More About Related Industries?

The hospitality industry is part of the travel industry and the hotel industry is part of the hospitality industry. All of these industries have in common that they are large service industries in the world and increasingly important in the modern age. But what is the difference between the travel and tourism industry? And what are all hospitality sectors within the hospitality industry? In the following articles you learn more about related industries.

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