Hotels are amongst the most visible and important aspects of a country's infrastructure. The quality and availability of accommodation at any destination determines its inflow of visitors. Now, more than ever before, greater numbers of people are traveling farther from home, for both business and
This has proportionately extended the variety and complexity of needs and expectations of hotel guests the world over. Consequently, hotels everywhere have to standardize and professionalise their operations providing a wider range of in-house facilities and incentives-in order to stay ahead in this keenly competitive field.
Hoteliering overlap's the leisure and travel industries, as well as the food and catering business. It includes accommodation of many types, in the deluxe, standard and budget categories. In India, this service industry has seen a phenomenal growth in the past thirty years. In 1963, there were 186 approved hotels in the country. Today there are over 700-a quantum increase of 200 per cent. Room capacity too has risen by about 400 percent.
This means that hotels are bigger. They are also better equipped and offer a greater number of services at many more locations. The industry here is still in its expansion phase and has a huge employment capacity.
Its current annual requirement is for 20,000-26,000 trained and skilled personnel, in its numerous operational areas. And yet, the training institutes collectively train merely 3,000. Women have generally done very well in hotel management. A significant percentage of female staff works in most functional divisions, with one or two exceptions.
Very few chefs, for instance, are women. In general, women tend to be concentrated in the front of ice and housekeeping departments. However, these configurations are already in the process of change. This is also an area where young people can rise fairly quickly to the top-drive, determination and initiative being the key factors of success.
Most hotel accommodation in India is situated in the four metropolitan cities and a few other-mainly urban-areas with Delhi accounting for nearly twenty-two per cent of all accommodation. Hotels are approved by the Department of Tourism and are classified on the basis of prescribed norms for services and facilities. They are divided into broad categories:
This area includes hotels, resorts, motels and other lodgings that are mainly under the management of:
THE PUBLIC SECTOR
The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) chain of hotels; State Departments of Tourism; government agencies or corporations or their subsidiaries.
THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Indian-owned corporate hotel chains, some of which have tie-ups with well-known names in the international hospitality industry; multinational chains; private limited companies. These are usually professionally managed. Among them, the hotel chains, including the ITDC, account for nearly half of the total room capacity.
The neater part of organized accommodation is in the higher classification-and hence, higher tariff bracket-catering largely to foreign tourists. Many hotels also gear their operations to target specific guest segments providing for instance, business centers for executive travelers; facilities and equipment for conference delegates; leisure activities for holiday makers; and block bookings for group tours.
This sector covers private guesthouses, tourist bungalows, youth hostels, forest lodges and rest houses. Very little documentation is available on their room capacity or occupancy. They are usually small establishments, providing limited accommodation, often at budget prices.
Both foreign and domestic tourists stay at these places which could be run by government departments like the railways or the Public Works Department; private companies or individuals; trusts, associations or institutions. They may or may not be professionally managed though most require trained staff for their operations.