Accommodation centers play a pivotal role in the realm of tourism, providing essential facilities and a conducive environment for travelers. These centers come in various forms, from hotels and motels to shelters and inns, each serving a unique purpose in catering to the diverse needs of tourists.
The facilities and the transport network are the basic conditions for tourism. Tourism itself acquires an economic character when these exist and function. The use of tourist resources has a social character, without accommodation and catering centers they do not provide any income. The accommodation centers are very diverse, the following aspects are taken into account when classifying them: size, comfort, functionality period of use, the type of tourism they serve, etc.
We distinguish two large groups:
- main accommodation centers where tourist activities predominate;
- secondary accommodation centers that serve seasonal tourism and have lower functionality.
The main accommodation centers include hotels, motels, shelters, villas and inns.
Hotels appeared at the end of the Middle Ages, their explosive development took place in the 20th century, when tourism acquires a mass character. Their geographical location is very diverse, the first hotels appeared in the cities.
The first proper hotel was opened in London in 1774, the “Covent Garden”. The primary role of every hotel is accommodation, but other functions can also be connected to this, which can turn it into a distinctive and often separate tourist center. The hotel is a measure of the tourism development of a given area, and in some countries it reflects the level of development of the entire economy. Therefore, they also have a development role.
Large hotels also provide various auxiliary services: post office, currency exchange, ticket offices, etc. Catering units include restaurants, bars, and pastry shops. The classification of hotels depends on their size, comfort, location, and utilization.
Hotels also differ in their operation: temporary and permanent. This directly affects their economy. The length of stay is determined by the structure and content of the attractive resources. The spas and hotels are open all the time, because the thermal waters and mineral waters enable treatment all year round. Hotels in big cities work in the same way, where the diversity of the tourist offer neutralizes the periodicity of nature.
Motels are similar in structure and function to hotels, the difference being that they depend on transit traffic. Therefore, they appeared in the United States of America, where settlements are at great distances from each other and where road traffic is significant. The length of stay is the shortest in the case of motels.
The villas are traditional tourist facilities. The XIX at the end of the century and the XX. they were in fashion at the beginning of the century. They mainly serve medium and long-term tourism. Therefore, it can be found mainly in spas and holiday resorts. Their characteristic feature is intimacy. They do not provide restaurants and other services.
Shelters are very common and are exclusively related to tourist activities. They keep together the properties of hotels and villas in an individual way. Their territorial location is very diverse, from the lowlands to the mountains. The shelters are in high demand due to their low prices and beautiful locations.
Inns are traditional accommodation and catering units, the predecessors of today’s motels. At one time, they existed in large numbers throughout Europe. There are also many legends associated with them. The XV. – XVIII. appeared in the 19th century, they were used to receive travelers and mail coaches. They were mainly located along roads and major intersections. At first, the inns were built in the cities.
Secondary (auxiliary) accommodation centers
They usually have a pioneering role, temporary solutions. Here we list: shelters, guesthouses, campsites. the).
Shelters are rudimentary accommodation centers with zero economic utilization. They mainly satisfy the social side of tourism, providing minimal opportunities (for a short time) for those who are affected by bad weather on the road. They are primarily found in the high mountains, where there are no other accommodation options. The equipment is minimal (shelter, heat source, some food), and their maintenance is provided by the organizations that are dedicated to promoting tourism.
Boarding houses/pensions and private accommodation provide quality services to tourists in places where there is no or insufficient accommodation network. The main characteristic of pensions is originality and originality of services. They usually host a small number of guests (10-20) in traditional family settings. The local cuisine, the original environment, the possibility of insight into everyday life are all interesting to the city tourist.
Camping has become very fashionable in recent years. They are very diverse, according to the need. The most common forms are cottages and bungalows, tents are the most mobile. In addition to accommodation, they usually also have other auxiliary equipment (baths, bar, cafeteria, etc.). Their operation is mainly limited to the summer period.