Accommodation is a key component in the tourism and hospitality sector. It is wonderful and amazing to travel to see new places, see new people and enjoy different cultures. However, when we travel, we need a place to stay. There are many different types of accommodation to meet different budgets and this differ from providers.
When travelling or working in the tourism industry, it is important to an understanding of the different types of accommodation. Fortunately, the tourism industry is huge and has variations; meaning that, there are a lots of accommodation types to choose from when travelling
Accommodation can be grouped into two categories: catered and non-catered.
Catered accommodation: Catered accommodation provides the tourist with food. The food may or may not be included in the price of the hotel. Catering comes in different shapes, sizes and in differ in amounts. Half-board usually means that the tourist will be given breakfast and dinner as part of their hotel package. Full board means that they will be given three meals and all-inclusive means that they have unlimited food and drinks throughout the day. Bed and breakfast provide only breakfast.
Some accommodations are sold as ‘room-only’, but provides the opportunity for the tourist to purchase food at an additional cost. This is still classified as a catered accommodation type.
Catered accommodation is generally associated with a number of facilities including the following facilities: Room, reception, restaurant and bar, housekeeping, leisure facilities, gym or health club, conference and business facilities and entertainment.
Below are some of the most common types of accommodation that can be described as catered.
Hotels: Hotels are the most traditional and most common types of accommodation. Hotels can be large or small. They can be independently owned businesses or they can be part of a hotel chain. Hotels may be part of a holiday resort. Hotels are ranked using a star rating system. Hotels are awarded a grade between 1-5 stars (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest). This tells the tourist what level of service to expect at the hotel.
Bed and breakfasts: A bed and breakfast is just as it sounds- a type of accommodation that offers a bed and a breakfast! Bed a breakfast accommodation in the UK are traditional a type of guest house or home-stay. The owners typically live in the accommodation and separate their personal living space away from the guest space. Breakfast served is traditionally an English-style cooked breakfast. This traditional model of bed and breakfast accommodations does still exist, however the experience described above is not a given. In fact, any type of accommodation that offers breakfast as part of the deal can be described as a bed and breakfast, and the breakfast offered can range from continental to exotic.
Guest houses and home-stays
A guest house is essentially a house that welcomes guests. There is a fine line between a guest house and a bed and breakfast. While there is no hard and fast rule, guest houses tend to be bigger than bed and breakfast accommodations. Guest houses may or may not offer breakfast included in the price of the hotel room.A home stay is intended to facilitate a deep cultural tourism experience. The intention is that you live and immerse yourself with a family in their home. However, my experience is that whilst many types of accommodation may advertise themselves as a ‘home-stay’, they are in reality just a guest house, with limited interaction between the hosts/owners and the guests.
Chalets: Chalets are typically found in ski resorts and can come on a self-catering or catered basis. Often, they are available with your own personal chef!
Chalets are great if you are travelling in a group. Chalets come in different sizes and can fit different amounts of people. You can also opt for a shared chalet if your group size is small.
Self-catered and non-catered accommodation are types of accommodation that do not offer food. Self-catered accommodations offer cooking facilities, such as a small kitchen and cooking equipment. Non-catered accommodation is likely a room-only accommodation with no cooking facilities.
Products and services that are typically offered in self-catered and non-catered accommodation options include the following: rooms, kitchen, tent, caravan pitch, entertainment, sports facilities, laundry facilities, showers. Self-catering accommodation has become more popular in recent years with the growth of the economies. Properties owners can now easily rent their accommodation to tourists through intermediaries, who connect the tourist with the property owner.
Cottages: A cottage is typically a small, cosy house that is considered as being old or traditional. Cottages are typical British homes that are often found in semi-rural locations. Due to their unique character, culture and heritage, cottages make for popular holiday homes.
Cottages provide tourists with the opportunity for a ‘home away from home’ experience. Individuals can usually cook, do laundry and watch TV as they would in their own home.
Apartments: Apartments are a popular self-catering accommodation option. Apartments are found in many areas, but are most common in built up areas such as towns and cities and busy resorts.
Apartments can be large or small and can range from short-term to long-term lets.
Source: Reuben Affum-Ankamah(Real Estate Times Africa.)