Geography of Tourism – II

Travel accommodation – regular – star hotels (five an other stars), International, Resort hotels, Commercial hotels, Residential hotels, floating hotels. Supplementary – Motels, Youth hostels, caravan and camping sites, Bed and Breakfast.


It plays a central role in tourism. Every tourist needs a place to stay and relax. Tourists look for clean, hygienic, and well maintained accommodation with a comfortable bed, clean linen, and sanitary facilities with adequate hot and cold water supply. A wide range of accommodation options exist at most destinations ranging from tourist lodges to five star deluxe hotels. Without suitable accommodation there would be no tourism as accommodation is the temporary home of the tourist at the destination and the base from which they pursue their activities.

Categories of Accommodation

Accommodation can be categorized in different ways. These could be categorized by location, price, by type of visitors and by type of facilities they offer.

Types of Accommodation

Supplementary Accommodation

Motel, Youth hostels, Tourist bungalows, Camping sites,  Pension,  Bed and breakfast Establishments,  Tourist Holiday Villages,  Home Stays,  Railway Retiring Rooms,  House Boats, Guest Houses and Lodges,  Forest Bungalows,  Farm Houses.

Primary Accommodation


International hotels, Resort hotels, Commercial hotels,  Floating hotels, Capsule hotels,  Airport hotels,  Heritage hotels, Boutique hotels.

Types of Tourist Accommodation

Primary Accommodation


Hotels are a vital and essential part of the tourism and hospitality industry. Due to the increasing volume of tourists travelling, government should provide proper infrastructure to boost tourism. More hotels must be built to keep up with demand. The dictionary defines hotel as ‘a place supplying boarding and lodging. Today, the hotels provide not only accommodation and meals but also various other services as per the needs of the guests such as massage parlous and cultural programmes etc.

International Hotels

International hotels are the modern western – style hotels located in almost all metropolitan and other large cities as well principal tourist centers. The hotels are 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 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 deposits facilities. Restaurant facilities, bars and banqueting are an integral part of the business of a hotel.

Resort Hotels

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 type of services and amenities located in resort property include recreation facilities such as swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts, skiing, boating, surf- riding and various indoor sports. Other amenities include coffee shops, restaurants, conference rooms, lounge, shopping arcade and entertainment.

Commercial Hotels

These hotels cater to the individual tourists for business purpose, the middle budget tourists, and their repeat guests. The location of 63

these hotels is mainly near the business or commercial centers. Besides accommodation these hotels provide parking space, restaurants and sometimes, business facilities for their guests such as conference and meeting halls, secretarial services etc.

Floating Hotels

As the name suggests, these hotel 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 hotels are 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 the 1970’s 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 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.

Airport Hotel

Airport hotel, 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 travelers. The various services may include parking and shuttle service to and from the airport terminal. The hotels may also provide services for business travelers for organizing meetings, conferences and conventions etc. 64

Heritage Hotels

Many of the old properties of the royal and aristocratic families’ like castles, palaces, forts, and havelis have been converted into hotels. These properties are renovated and the majestic grandeur and splendor is recreated for the tourists’ experience. In the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat these heritage hotels are an attraction, for example, Lake Palace, Udaipur, and Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur. Other examples of heritage hotels are castles such as Paradors in Spain, Posadas in Portugal, Chauteux in France, and Schlosse in Australia. The guests are treated as nobels or members of a royal family at these heritage properties.

Boutique Hotel

Boutique hotel is a term popularized in North America and the United Kingdom to describe hotels which often contain luxury facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Boutique hotels began appearing in the 1980s in major cities like London, New York, and San Francisco. Typically boutique hotels are furnished in a themed, stylish and/or aspiration manner. Boutique hotels are often individual and focused on offering their services in a comfortable, intimate, and welcoming setting, so they are therefore extremely unlikely to be found amongst the homogeneity of large hotel. Guest rooms and suites may be fitted with telephone and Internet, air-conditioning, honesty bars and often cable/pay TV, but equally may have none of these, focusing on quiet and comfort rather than gadgetry. Guest services are often attended to by 24-hour hotel staff. Many boutique hotels have on-site dining facilities, and the majority offer bars and lounges that may also be open to the general public.

Supplementary Accommodation


The concept of motel or 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, 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 service provided by motels include parking, garage facilities, accommodation, restaurants, etc. there also equipment and tools available which the guest can use himself if he wished 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 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.

Youth Hostels

Youth hostels made their first appearance in Germany in the form of a movement in about the year 1900. 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 centers which offer an opportunity to young people coming from different parts of the country, as also young travelers 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.

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 open-air hostels, tourist’s camps or camping grounds. Camping originally practiced 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 sited 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 grocer’s shop, the type of services often vary from the 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.


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 garnish, they represent a growing form of accommodation units catering for holiday as well as business travelers. 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 en route travelers. Some of these are very popular with holiday makers.

Tourist Holiday Villages

Tourist holiday villages were established in some European countries after World War II. These are situated at warm sea sides and in the regions which offer certain facilities for tourists. 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 boarding and lodging. The atmosphere in these villages is kept as informal as possible. Telephones, radios, newspapers and T.V are banned unless there is an emergency. Wallets and other valuables are locked away at the beginning of one’s stay. 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.

 Home Stays

Home Stays are type of accommodation where tourists are provided with a feeling of staying in a homely environment. It is where the local residents as the stakeholders of tourism industry are enabled to generate some revenue by accommodating tourists in their house and fulfilling their reasonable requirements during their stay. This is being monitored and controlled by local bodies and concerned authorities as part of standardizing the service. In many states of India, this part of accommodations is getting popular.

In addition to this, there are some other types of accommodation as well prevail in the preview of supplementary accommodation such as:

➢ Railway Retiring rooms

➢ House boats

➢ Guest houses and lodges

➢ Forest bungalows

➢ Farm houses


 Hotel ratings are often used to classify hotels according to their quality. The development of the concept of hotel rating and its associated definitions display strong parallels. From the initial purpose of informing travellers on basic facilities that can be expected, the objectives of hotel rating has expanded into a focus on the hotel experience as a whole. Today the terms ‘grading’, ‘rating’, and ‘classification’ are used to generally refer to the same concept, that is to categorize hotels.

There is a wide variety of rating schemes used by different organizations around the world. Many have a system involving stars, with a greater number of stars indicating greater luxury. Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, launched its star rating system in 1958. The AAA and their affiliated bodies use diamonds instead of stars to express hotel and restaurant ratings levels.

Food services, entertainment, view, room variations such as size and additional amenities, spas and fitness centers, ease of access and location may be considered in establishing a standard. Hotels are independently assessed in traditional systems and rest heavily on the facilities provided. Some consider this disadvantageous to smaller hotels whose quality of accommodation could fall into one class but the lack of an item such as an elevator would prevent it from reaching a higher categorization.

In recent years hotel rating systems have also been criticised by some[who?] who argue that the rating criteria for such systems are overly complex and difficult for laypersons to understand. It has been suggested that the lack of a unified global system for rating hotels may also undermine the usability of such schemes.


 Hotel star

Excerpt of the catalogue of criteria
{\displaystyle \bigstar }* Tourist ·         100% of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC

·         Daily room cleaning

·         100% of the rooms with colour-TV together with remote control

·         Table and chair

·         Soap or body wash

·         Reception service

·         Facsimile at the reception

·         Publicly available telephone for guests

·         Extended breakfast

·         Beverage offer in the hotel

·         Deposit possibility

{\displaystyle \bigstar \mathbf {S} }*S Superior Tourist The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The bathroom facilities are usually at the same level as for two stars hotels but built from cheaper materials. The cost for regular inspection by independent associations is waived as well.
{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar }2* Standard In addition to the single star (*) hotels:

·         Breakfast buffet

·         Reading light next to the bed

·         Bath essence or shower gel

·         Bath towels

·         Linen shelves

·         Offer of sanitary products (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit)

·         Credit Cards

{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \mathbf {S} }2*S Superior Standard The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The Standard-Superior does usually offer the same service level as three-star hotels but the interiors of the hotel are smaller and cheaper so that the three stars were not to be awarded by the inspection body. A two-star superior does not require mystery guesting.
{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar }3* Comfort In addition to the standard star (**) hotels:

·         Reception opened 14 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside, bilingual staff (e.g. German/English)

·         Three piece suite at the reception, luggage service

·         Beverage offer in the room

·         Telephone in the room

·         Internet access in the room or in the public area

·         Heating facility in the bathroom, hair-dryer, cleansing tissue

·         Dressing mirror, place to put the luggage/suitcase

·         Sewing kit, shoe polish utensils, laundry and ironing service

·         Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand

·         Systematic complaint management system

{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \mathbf {S} } 3*S Superior Comfort The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The accommodation facilities for a superior hotel need to be on a modern level and fully renovated which is checked regularly.
{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar }4* First Class In addition to the comfort star (***) hotels:

·         Reception opened 18 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside

·         Lobby with seats and beverage service

·         Breakfast buffet or breakfast menu card via room service

·         Minibar or 24 hours beverages via room service

·         Upholstered chair/couch with side table

·         Bath robe and slippers on demand

·         Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror, tray of a large scale in the bathroom

·         Internet access and internet terminal

·         “À la carte“-restaurant

{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \mathbf {S} }4*S First Class Superior The Superior flag is provided when the first class hotel has a proven high quality not only in the rooms. The superior hotels provide for additional facilities in the hotel like a sauna or a workout room. The quality is checked regularly by mystery guesting of an external inspection service.
{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar }5* Luxury In addition to the first class (****) hotels:

·         Reception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff

·         Doorman-service or valet parking

·         Concierge, page boy

·         Spacious reception hall with several seats and beverage service

·         Personalized greeting for each guest with fresh flowers or a present in the room

·         Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours

·         Personal care products in flacons

·         Internet-PC in the room

·         Safe in the room

·         Ironing service (return within 1 hour), shoe polish service

·         Turndown service in the evening

·         Mystery guesting

{\displaystyle \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \bigstar \mathbf {S} }5* S Superior Luxury The Luxury star hotels need to attain high expectations of an international guest service. The Superior Luxury star is only awarded with a system of intensive guest care.