Traveling and hotels are interrelated industries that are always evolving to meet the demands of new customers. The industry consists of many different sectors that are affected by key trends such as travel digitalization and sustainability. Some of the most popular sectors are hotels, short-term rentals and cruises. These segments are often influenced by their own specific trends such as the rise of home-sharing in the accommodation sector or blended travel for business tourists.
Travel and hotel management programs provide students with first-hand experience in the industry. These in-class field trips and onsite experiences are crucial to the success of future travel managers. This is because students who travel are better equipped to understand the needs of their clients, as well as the expectations of a hotel guest.
The word hotel, as used in contemporary English, has the same etymology as hospital and is cognate with the French phrase “Hôtel particulier,” meaning a private house (often large and impressive) that serves guests. Facilities offering hospitality to travelers appeared in ancient civilizations. The earliest were guest houses, followed by inns and then luxury hotels in the 19th century.
Today, most travelers plan their travels online, using aggregator sites to search for lodging in their destination. They then sort through mountains of stars and thumbs to find lodging that meets their needs. Then they use bargain sites and price liquidators to find the lowest possible rates for a given date or room type. A few credit card taps and clicks later, the booking is complete.
For most people, a hotel stay is a chance to relax and unwind during vacation. Hotels can provide a range of services to help make the trip easier, from concierges and restaurants to pool and gym access. In addition, many hotels offer a sense of security through on-site personnel and surveillance cameras. They can also provide a variety of amenities such as meeting spaces and grab-and-go food options for business travelers.
In addition to the obvious benefits of a central location and the peace of mind that comes with being surrounded by a staff ready to serve, the convenience of booking and paying for lodging is a big draw. Hotels also have a wider array of options for guests, from free and fast WiFi to meeting space and even rooms designed for the disabled.
There are a number of types of hotel chains, each with its own portfolio and target market. For example, upscale brands like Marriott offer an extensive collection of options to fit any budget. Likewise, Hilton has its Homewood Suites brand of extended-stay properties for business travelers. These are all-suite hotels with full kitchens, separate living areas and complimentary breakfast.