Managing Tourist Accommodation
Throughout this section "accommodation" is taken in a wide context to include any premises where any of the housekeeping, reception, maintenance, and cleaning services have to be provided on a larger scale than in a domestic dwelling. The establishment need not necessarily include sleeping accommodation.
In its simplest sense, accommodation is taken to be the provision of shelter, that is, four walls and a roof.
Thus accommodation management is taken to include:
The provision of accommodation to suit the purpose and the needs of the users.
The selling, marketing and promoting of accommodation.
The care, maintenance and security of the accommodation.
The care, well-being, satisfaction and comfort of the accommodation user
The Role of the Accommodation Manager
The responsibilities of the accommodation manager will include some, or all of the following:
Assessing staff requirements
Recruitment and selection of staff
Induction and training of staff
Deployment and scheduling of staff
Supervision of staff
Inspection of premises
Developing standard methods for performing tasks
Welfare of personnel
Selection and purchasing of supplies (cleaning agents, equipment, etc.)
Selection and purchasing of "linens" and soft furnishings
Selection and purchasing of all surfaces (floor coverings, wall coverings, furniture, etc)
Linen control and laundering
Cleaning and maintenance of the premises and plant
Redecoration and upgrading schemes
Capital building projects
Health, safety, fire and security arrangements
Care and welfare of the building user that is the client or personnel.
In certain types of establishments, such as hotels or conference centres, the accommodation manager may also be responsible for front office operations and conferences. Accommodation management is well established in certain types of operations such as hotels, hospitals, and halls of residence. These all tend to have a well-defined organisation structure.
It must be remembered that the client is of the utmost importance because the premises and services are provided for his or her benefit. The health, safety, welfare, and comfort of the client are of the greatest importance.
Kinds of Accommodation
Different kinds of hotels and ways of classifying them were discussed in the previous section.
These aim to provide a complete holiday experience in the one complex. They contain not only accommodation, but also restaurants and entertainment attractions and often shopping as well. They are generally located in desirable tourist locations and have scenic features such as tropical beaches or snow-covered mountains, or other attractions such as ski-fields or golf courses.
This includes: Bed and Breakfast (B&B’s), Farm Stays, Cabins, Chalets, Pensions and other similar facilities.
A guesthouse is a private house offering paid accommodation. A bed and breakfast is generally a private house offering accommodation and breakfast in a package deal. These are very general definitions, and could relate to any size of accommodation, and any standard of facility or service -
- In Britain, guesthouses have become most commonly equated with seaside accommodation.
- In South Africa, guesthouses are generally found in tourist areas.
- In Australia, guesthouses are often larger facilities, whilst bed and breakfast operations are smaller.
- Guesthouses and B & B's do not have the hustle and bustle of hotels.
- They are able to provide a simpler form of accommodation, catering to smaller numbers of guests, and providing a more informal or even personal interaction between guests and staff/owners.
- Many B&B’s are popular as short-stay destinations, typically over a weekend (Friday and Saturday night) or mid-week.
- Many are located in scenic areas on the outskirts of cities and towns, within easy driving distance for city visitors and residents.
Tourists can opt for accommodation offering self-catering facilities. These include apartments, cabins, some hotel rooms, and chalets. Self-catering accommodation is ideal for tourists who like to cook meals for reasons of diet, budget, or convenience. In some self- catering establishments, visitors must also provide their own linen, towels, etc.
Designed for convenience, motels generally provide overnight accommodation to travellers on the move. They are usually one or two stories high, reflecting their drive-in nature by making it easier for late and early guests to come and go, and they are usually located on main roads or in towns or cities near major attractions. Many on-road sales representatives rely on motels.
The most basic motels offer coffee and tea facilities but others provide a mini bar and a breakfast menu to be taken in the room. Larger motels have a restaurant attached offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, whilst some include all the facilities of a hotel, with drive-in convenience.
Tents, caravans, motor homes, wilderness treks, etc offer self-catering holidays whereby the tourist can be independent of public transport and accommodation. They can travel to more isolated areas at their own pace. Camping facilities can often be close to, or on the edges of, urban areas offering a low-cost alternative in accommodation. Usually, the only restriction is where travellers may camp. Many countries allow camping only in designated camping grounds and many national parks require camping permits.
Generally backpacker and youth hostels appeal to the budget traveller who is happy to share a room, sleep on a bunk bed, and share bathroom and kitchen facilities. They can provide a meeting place for travellers to share stories and exchange travelling tips. Though generally used by mostly younger, independent travellers or groups, most backpacker hostels accept travellers of all ages. In some cases, curfews apply.
Cruise holidays are a little different in that the accommodation may, in some respects, be the bulk of the tourism product. Some cruises are more this way than others, depending upon where the cruise boat goes, and how long it stays in each port.
A conventional cruise is normally a return journey with on-board entertainment and organised shore excursions. The quality of the accommodation varies according to the type of cruise (budget, mid-range, or luxurious) and also the deck it is on: the lower the deck, the cheaper and more basic the cabin. Some cabins are single but most are able to sleep 2-6 passengers. The most luxurious and expensive cabins have separate sitting rooms.
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