Accommodation facilities can vary greatly ....

in terms of both the scope and quality of services provided. They can be as basic as a camp site or as luxurious as a five-star resort. Options might include:

  • Camping
  • Caravans
  • Self-catering cabins
  • B&B’s (Bed and Breakfasts) and Guesthouses
  • Hotels
  • Resorts
  • Youth Hostels
  • Time Share

Commercial accommodation such as hotels, camp grounds and B&B’s are established as businesses, and operated primarily for commercial reasons. A range of other accommodation options do however exist (e.g. Home exchange systems, WWOF, Timeshare apartments, or even staying in homes of friends).

(NB: WWOF – Willing Workers on Organic Farms is a system where people are provided with food and accommodation, as they travel, in exchange for work undertaken to assist the farmer.)

An accommodation establishment may operate either independently or as part of a larger organisation (e.g. a hotel chain). While accommodation groups do not always fit neatly into categories, it is helpful to consider the following categories:
  • Corporate Groups are those that own and operate all facilities that bear their name.
  • Property Management Groups manage properties under contract to the owners (e.g. Hyatt Resorts operate this way).
  • Franchise Groups are made up of independently owned properties that operate in accordance with a contract with a franchisor (e.g. Flag Hotels).
  • Marketing or Cooperative Groups are made up of independently owned businesses that have agreements/contracts with an organisation for marketing the group.

Accommodation is often the largest single cost component in a holiday (or business trip). With some types of accommodation (e.g. resorts, conference venues), the client may spend the bulk of their time at that venue. These considerations make the selection of accommodation perhaps the single most important decision when making travel arrangements.

A travel agent should spend adequate time to properly consider the accommodation options with their client. The following property features should be known, and given due consideration:
  • Location
  • Appearance
  • Room facilities and housekeeping (e.g. clean linen, towels, toiletries, shared or private bathroom, television, telephone, internet connection, in-room movies, room service meals, etc)
  • Property facilities and services (e.g. pool, laundry, games room, restaurants, tour desk/information, etc)
  • Type of clientele (families, business, young, old, groups, singles, etc)
  • Ratio of staff to guests

To assist guests and tourism professionals, various classification schemes have been developed. Though there are exceptions, the more important schemes are roughly a comparable standard around the world.

Some facilities though that may be considered three star in one country might not be in another (e.g. tea and coffee making facilities are far more common in Australia and New Zealand than some other countries).

Examples of Star Ratings
For Motels, Hotels & Resorts:
* Offer basic standard accommodation which is simply furnished with only adequate lighting. Motel units have private facilities, but hotels and resorts may have shared bathrooms.
** Well maintained with an average standard of furnishings and fittings.
*** Well appointed; comfortable standard of accommodation, furnishings, lighting, cooling and heating. Rooms contain telephone, clock radio, tea & coffee facilities with light breakfast available.
**** Exceptional standard with high quality furnishings and fittings. High standards in presentation and guest services; restaurant on site, air conditioned rooms, comfortable lounge, hair drier, etc.
***** International style and superior standard, extensive range of first-class services including 24-hour room service, and additional shopping and recreation facilities.

For Serviced Apartments
* Basic accommodation with moderate comfort.
** Average accommodation with higher degree of comfort.
*** Good accommodation with better furnishings.
**** Very good accommodation, with very high standard of comfort and at least one
separate bedroom.
***** Very good with very high standard of comfort & furnishings, must have at least
one separate bedroom.
***** Excellent, luxuriously appointed, all sleeping areas and bed rooms are separate
to the lounge.

Bed & Breakfast/Guest House
* Clean, basic with simple furnishings.
** Moderate with comfortable furnishings and facilities.
*** Well appointed and comfortable.
**** Excellent quality of accommodation, furnishings and facilities.
***** International quality with an extensive range of first class guest facilities and

Accommodation Categories
Lic. H – Fully licensed hotel, with accommodation, meals and bar.

Lic. HM – Fully licensed with normal hotel facilities with all or some accommodation having individual bathing and toilet facilities in a separate block, and off-street parking.

M – Motel, Motor Inn or Motor Lodge; mostly for motorists; all accommodation in units or suites with separate bathroom facilities. Breakfast available.

BB – Bed and Breakfast, caters primarily for overnight accommodation; and always provides a light or cooked breakfast.

SA – Serviced Apartments, serviced daily, adequate off street parking, separate lounge/living area, communal laundry and in room kitchen facilities.

RSRT –Resort, offering extensive on-site recreation activities with an all inclusive tariff option.

GH – Guest House, usually non-licensed; serviced daily, catering for holiday or overnight accommodation.

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