Throughout the history of hotels, they have provided a variety of services to travelers. These services include accommodation, food, beverages, recreational facilities, and other guest services. Some hotels offer conference and meeting facilities as well. They may also offer business services, such as catering services and event planners.
Historically, hotels have played a vital role in local community life in American cities. They have been important centers of sociability and business exchanges. They have also served as centers of public assembly and political activity. The hotel industry has expanded worldwide to accommodate foreign travelers. Its growth over the last century has brought it to the forefront of the hospitality industry.
In the nineteenth century, the hotel industry in America was largely based on steam-driven transportation, with hotels in major cities and the frontier settlements. These hotels provided travelers with rest and food before heading on their sleeping cars. However, the advent of automobiles and the subsequent growth of road networks paved the way for changes in the hotel industry.
The new hotels were primarily built in leading commercial centers along coastal trade routes. They also served as prototypes for apartment buildings. The new generation of hotels were developed by urban merchant-capitalists.
The second period of hotel construction began around 1820. The growing popularity of the Grand Tour of Europe, which often lasted for several years, gave the industry a boost. This period was also fueled by the rapid growth of railroads. These railroad hotels provided rest and dining facilities before traveling by sleeping car.
The rapid growth of railroads also reconfigured the nation’s transportation network. This paved the way for a new type of hotel: the motor hotel. These hotels typically had inexpensive land and incorporated parking facilities.
The hotel industry in America expanded at a previously unrecognized pace after World War II. The advent of reliable passenger aircraft also made traveling easier. Americans also ventured abroad in record numbers during the postwar years.
The second and third generations of hotels developed as the United States began to restructure its transportation system. The success of organized labor made it possible for millions of workers to take paid vacations. The rapid growth of railroads also freed long-distance travelers from the river system.
The twentieth-century hotel industry was influenced by the Fordist mass production system. This encouraged the development of the hotel industry as a standardized, commercial venture. Hotels became the focus of attention for authors, printmakers, and journalists. They were often the focal point for political figures who hobnobbed in hotel lobbies and gave speeches from hotel windows.
The hotel industry expanded rapidly during the twentieth century, thanks to the success of the organized labor movement. This led to the creation of hotel chains that became major players in the hospitality industry. They are governed by predetermined policies and strategies that allow them to serve their target market.
In the late twentieth century, hotels also began to serve as places of public assembly and political activity. Hotels were often attacked during domestic strife and political upheavals.