Q) Discuss the role of accommodation sector in the development of tourism ?
It is important that a tourism professional be aware of all the categories of accommodation. Different categories of accommodation are
1. Five Star Deluxe Hotels
These are usually found in metro cities and other second tier cities. These hotels usually have 200 - 800 rooms. They are categorized by international standards such as the number of restaurants, size of lobby, business centre facilities, swimming pools etc.Five star deluxe hotels have high standards of quality control. Business executives and upscale tourists are the main customers.
Star categorization of hotels are not mandatory in India. Hotels themselves offer for categorization, which is based on certain criteria and inspection by officials.
2. First Class Hotels
These hotels will have most of the facilities of 5 star deluxe hotels. These are found in metro cities and mid-sized cities. These hotels are mainly used by a combination of business executives and tourists.
3. Non-star Hotels
These are small hotels which are not classified categories. Many tourists stay in these hotels as per budget adjustments. Eg: ITDC Ashoka group hotel at Kovalam.
4. Resorts and Lodges
These are meant exclusively for tourists and are found in remote destinations. Resorts and lodges usually have certain features such as elaborate swimming pools, a balcony or patio overlooking each room. There will be entertainment facilities as well. In India, there are resorts for tourists of different tastes. Whether luxury or low budget resorts, they primarily offer a stay in the natural surroundings. They are seasonal as well.
5. Tented Camps
Tented camps are growing in popularity. They have low investment and are Eco-friendly. The best thing about tented camps are, you don't need to spend too much money on the upkeep of the place once the tourist season is over. Tented camps are usually set up in remote places such as near a game park or reserve. Bathrooms will be attached or set up separately depending on the luxury level. Mobile tented camps are used while trekking.
6. Heritage Hotels
Tourists visiting historical cities will be fond of historical places. They always love to stay in the same way as the Rajas who lived centuries ago. Government of India started encouraging heritage hotels by giving incentives to the owners of forts, palaces and havelis to convert them into heritage hotels.
7. Guest Houses
Guest houses can be found in cities, towns and remote destinations. These are generally used by tourists who travel on their own, spend longer periods of time, who wish to know the host culture intimately and want their expenditure to be modest. They typically have one or two meals a day and spend rest of the time outside.
Most guest houses are run by families and the tourist stay there as guests. Eg: House boat. Recently, paying guest accommodation is also gaining popularity. Tourists can enjoy local food and customs rather than dealing with the hotel set up which is pretty much the same everywhere in the world. These guest houses also provide an earning opportunity for the locals without investment.
8. Alternative Accomodation
Other forms of accommodation are small hoarding houses, lodges managed by tourism departments and tourist camps. The rest rooms of railways can also be recommended for short or overnight stay.
A tourist spends 40% of his money for accommodation. A tourist accommodation must incorporate recreational and educational activities into its architectural design.