The hotel industry is one of the most important components of the wider service industry, catering for customers who require overnight accommodation. It is closely associated with the travel industry and the hospitality industry, although there are notable differences in scope. In this article, you will learn more about the hotel industry, its links to those other service industry sectors, and the range of hotel and guest accommodation types that exist.

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What is a Hotel?

Broadly speaking, a hotel is a managed building or establishment, which provides guests with a place to stay overnight – on a short-term basis – in exchange for money. The precise features and services provided to guests can vary quite drastically from one hotel to another, and hotel owners generally aim to attract a particular type of customer through their pricing model and marketing strategy, or via the range of services they offer.

What is The Hotel Industry?

Next, it is important to answer the question: what is the hotel industry? Put simply, the hotel industry is the section of the service industry that deals with guest accommodation or lodgings. By most definitions, the hotel industry refers not only to hotels, but also to many other forms of overnight accommodation, including hostels, motels, inns and guest houses. However, it does not usually include long-term or permanent forms of accommodation.

Due to the nature of hotel services, it is closely associated with the travel and tourism industry.

The Difference Between the Hotel Industry and the Hospitality Industry

One common area of confusion relates to the difference between the hotel industry and the hospitality industry, with many people mistakenly believing the two terms refer to the same thing. However, while there is a cross-over, the difference is that the hospitality industry is broader in scope and includes multiple different sectors.

The hotel industry is solely concerned with the provision of guest accommodation and related services. By contrast, the hospitality industry is concerned with leisure in a more general sense. As a result, it covers accommodation, restaurants, bars, cafés, night-life and a number of travel and tourism services.

Different Types of Accommodation in the Hotel Industry

It is important to understand that the hotel industry is a catch-all term, used to describe services related to guest accommodation. With that in mind, it is worth noting that there are a variety of different accommodation types which fall under this umbrella term. Some of the main types are described in more detail below:

Hotels

The most common type of accommodation in the hotel industry, a hotel is defined as an establishment which offers overnight accommodation, meals and other services. They are mainly aimed at travellers or tourists, although locals may also use them. Hotels provide private rooms, and almost always have en-suite bathrooms.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts, or B&Bs, are smaller establishments, which offer guests private rooms for overnight stays, along with breakfast in the morning. Often, these establishments are converted from private homes and many B&B owners live in their property. While they are often a budget option, high-end or luxury B&Bs do also exist.

Motels

Motels are a form of overnight accommodation tailored towards motorists. For this reason, they are typically located conveniently by the roadside and offer ample free parking. A motel will generally have a number of guest rooms and may have some additional facilities, but will usually have fewer amenities than hotels.

Botels

‘Botel’ is the name given to a boat that has been adapted to offer hotel-style lodgings. Many botels are permanently moored river boats, although others are converted ships, which are perfectly capable of travelling with guests on board. They are especially popular in European cities with rivers or canals.

Inns

An inn is an establishment which provides temporary accommodation, usually along with food and drinks. Inns are smaller than hotels, and are closer in size to bed and breakfasts, although inns are often slightly larger. Guests are allocated private rooms and food options will usually include breakfast and dinner.

Resorts

Resorts are commercial establishment, which will usually consist of a hotel and a variety of additional services and amenities, on site. Guests will usually have access to lodgings, restaurants, bars, entertainment options, recreational activities and shops, which can all be accessed without leaving the premises.

Serviced Apartments

Popular among business travellers, serviced apartments are apartment-style lodgings, where guests benefit from a full range of services, such as room service, housekeeping and laundry services. Most serviced apartments also offer additional amenities, while the apartments themselves tend to be larger than most hotel rooms.

Hostals

Often confused with hostels, a hostal is a form of accommodation, primarily found in Spanish-speaking regions. They resemble a budget hotel, offering either private bedrooms or apartments, while they may also have a bar, restaurant and/or café. Most hostals are family-owned and guests may sometimes share bathrooms with others.

Hostels

A hostel is a form of accommodation, typically aimed at those on a budget, where multiple guests sleep in different beds in the same living space. Effectively, guests pay for a bed, rather than a private room, and hostels hold a particular appeal for those looking to meet new people. Guests will usually share kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Apartment Hotels

An apartment hotel is essentially an apartment building, which operates hotel-style services. It provides a similar experience to renting an apartment, albeit with the option to check in and check out on demand, rather than signing a fixed term contract. These hotels will generally also provide basic housekeeping services.

Boutique Hotels

Often promoted on the basis of aspiration and luxury, boutique hotels are hotels that are situated within relatively small buildings. In most instances, they provide guests with upmarket rooms and high-quality services. Additionally, they often have a particular theme, and are commonly found in trendy, urban areas.

Condo Hotels

A condo hotel is a condominium building, which operates as a hotel, providing guests with the opportunity to rent a condominium unit for a short period of time. They are almost exclusively found in cities, are especially popular in the United States and combine the holiday home experience with hotel-style service features.

Eco Hotels

The basic definition of an eco hotel is a hotel, which has specifically taken steps to embrace sustainable living practices, in order to minimise the environmental damage they are responsible for. They may prioritise the use of local products, adopt recycling measures, focus on energy saving and use sustainable bed linen and towels.

Guest Houses

Typically, a guest house is a private house, which has been converted for the specific purpose of providing guest lodgings. It is common for the guest area to be kept completely separate from another area, where the owner may live. Some guest houses provide additional services, but many are operated on a self-service basis.

Holiday Cottages

A holiday cottage, also known as a holiday home, is simply a cottage or small house, which is let to people on a temporary basis, for holiday purposes. Essentially, a guest pays to use the property for a short period of time. They are especially common the UK, US and Canada and a key advantage is the freedom they offer guests.

Pensions

Pensions are a form of guest house, which are very similar to bed and breakfasts, while providing more meals throughout the day. In most cases, guests have an option of different plans, such as full board, where they get breakfast, lunch and dinner, or half board, where they may get breakfast and dinner, without the lunch.

Pop-Up Hotels

A pop-up hotel is the name given to a hotel that is housed within a non-permanent structure. Typically, pop-up hotels exist for a short period of time only. They are most commonly associated with outdoor events, but pop-up hotels may also be established for a particular time of year, such as Christmas, or the summer.

Roadhouses

Finally, roadhouses are relatively small establishments, which are situated next to a road, in order to attract passing customers. In some ways, they combine the features of a motel, B&B and inn. They will often offer a small number of private guest rooms, similar to a B&B, and may also have a restaurant and/or a bar.

Hotel Marketing Trends and Strategies

Hotel marketing plays a crucial role in helping owners to maximise bookings and revenue. After all, it is the main way in which those in the hotel industry are able to reach out to potential guests, conveying their unique selling proposition, brand values and the reasons why guests should choose to stay with them. Do you want to learn more about hotel marketing? In the articles “The Latest Hotel Marketing Trends in the Hotel Industry” and “Essential Hotel Marketing Strategies” you find the latest hotel marketing trends and strategies.

Hotel Revenue Management

Hotel revenue management enables hotel owners to predict levels of demand and optimise things like distribution and pricing, in order to maximise financial results. In the article “What is Hotel Revenue Management?”, you will find out more about hotel revenue management, the reasons it is so valuable to hotel owners, and the necessary conditions for implementing a hotel revenue management strategy.

Hotel Technology Trends

Hotel technology has advanced in leaps and bounds during recent years. Not only are “smart” systems entirely prevalent, but guests can expect to enjoy more interactive experiences than ever before. In the article “The Latest Hotel Technology Trends” you find the latest hotel technology trends and what these might signify for the hotel industry as a whole.

Consumer Trends in The Hotel Industry

The world is moving faster than ever, as shifting social attitudes, new technologies, and economic and demographic changes all drive seismic shifts in the ways we live, do business and work. Nowhere is this more obvious than in hotel industry trends. Some hotel industry trends may come and go, while others become enduring features. It’s vital to stay on top of trends in order to reap the profits of early adoption. In the article “Hotel industry Trends: keep Up With The Latest Developments!” you find the latest movements.

Hotel Management

The hotel industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the 21st century. Hotel management plays a vital role in this industry and such a business comes with many responsibilities. Only the most qualified people can take on such roles so if you are ready for this exciting job opportunity that will help you grow both personally and professionally, then you should refer to this informative guide, ‘Hotel Management: Everything You Need to Know About Managing a Hotel!’, for first-hand information on how to start a career in the highly competitive hotel industry.

Practical Guide on Revenue Management & Hotel Marketing Strategies

Hotel marketing offers a vast array of strategies that hotel owners must be aware of if they want to succeed in this business. If you want to attract as many guests as possible, you must use the most effective hotel marketing and revenue management strategies. The ‘Free Handbook: Revenue Management & Hotel Marketing Strategies’, hotel owners will get all the tips and tricks on the best marketing strategies.

While the hotel industry is closely associate with travel, tourism and hospitality, it is focused on guest accommodation and services related to overnight stays. Nevertheless, there are a wide range of different accommodation types which are usually placed underneath the hotel industry umbrella.

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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