By nature, the state of existence for the hospitality industry is different in any perspective you choose to approach it. Since humanities first existence we have sought oppurtunities to travel, lodge, recreate, and enduldge in diversified food services. Without hindrance, these four industries were forced to become different in any way you approach them. Either historically or economically these industries have undergone many changes from the beginning of the hospitality industry to the present.
The hospitality industry is made up of four subcomponent industries. The larger segment is travel and toursim, and the other two are lodging and food service operations. Today the authoritive World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced that travel and toursim is the worlds largest industry, surpassing autos, steel, electronics, and agriculture. (Janiskee pg38) Recreation is a diverse industry, representing over $280 billion in expenditures each year. (Milman pg194) Food service is a major contributor to the hospitality industry, in that, it aids the travel and tourism sector. The lodging industry may be looked at as the back -bone to travel and tourism, generating $66.1 billion in sales, and accomodating the needs of the public. (Lattin pg165)
Although travel as we know it had its beginning many centuries ago, traveling for pleasure is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first “travelers” were probably groups or bands of nomads in search of food, water, and shelter. Centuries ago, early Phoenicians toured in caravans throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean and participated in trade with a number of countries in Southeast Asia. The purpose for this early travel was almost 100 percent business. The invention of money by the Summerians allowed a much more higly developed system of trading. Much of the ealier travel was by water, because of the possibility of carying of wares, and the difficulties with foot-and-cart travel over mountains with no roads. (Epperson pg 23)
It is the Romans, however, that began to combine travel, tourism, and recreation. Because of the leisure society created by wealth and slavery, Romans were free to travel to distant places on the Mediterranian for vacations, or to popular destinations for holidy travel for Olympic games and activities, as well as to health spas.
Early explorers, traders, and shippers laid the ground -work upon which our modern age of travel is based. Human needs to arrange trips and faciliate movements have not changed over the ages. Constructing roads, vehicles, and ships goes back into antiquity.
Subsequent inventions of more suitable roads, stage coaches, passenger railroads, passenger ships, automobiles, and airplanes created a speedier and more gratifying means of travel in the 20th century. During the early stages of travel inventions such as the sandglass to measure time, the “ log” line to measure distance, and the compass to gauge direction made possible succesful sea exploration. By comparing travel now to travel thousands of years ago, one can see the obvious variance.
However, the conditions for an expanding travel market are different now from Roman times. Travel will flourish if people are convinced that they will be safe and comfortable. When the Roman Empire declined, travel declined. The wealthy class was reduced, roads deteriorated, and the countryside was plagued by bandits. Today, wars, unrest, and terroism are similarly harmful for travel. Peace, prosperity, and reasonable travel costs remain the essentials needed for travel growth.
Recreation falls under the category of travel. The reason people travel for recreation has been questioned since travel and toursim began. In the early days of travel, the reasons were known, 99 percent of travel was for business purposes and for life’s necessities as travel was to uncomfotable to be done for any other purpose. The rich who could afford special accomodations and modes of travel did the remaining one- percent of travel.
Since those days, recreation has become a very desirable leisure activity. While previously recreation was a status symbol for the rich, now all social economic groups enjoy these various activities. Recreational activities now are more appealing than previously. Recreational activities in the middle ages included sword fighting and horse-back riding, activities that were not available to everyone. Today however, any form of recreation can be enjoyed by the socially elite or middle-class sectors of the economy.
The businesses and organizations that provide different recreational activities compromise a major part of the hospitality industry. For example, just trips for entertainment constitue about one-fourth of all travel in the United States. There are many activities engaged in by toursts- a wealth of opportunities.
Lodging and food services are major essential supply components of the hospitality industry. Providing overnight accomodations for travelers goes back into antiquity-it is the worlds oldest commerical business. Guestrooms were first parts of private dwellings. Then came caravansaries and guest quarters porvided in monastaries. Today, lodging has changed extravagantly, and is of tremendous economic importance. Many lodging places provide meeting rooms, convention rooms, shops, and entertainment.
The lodging industry has practiced market segmentation in recent years, an occurrence that would never be possible during the beginning of the lodging era. Many of the big lodging chains offer products at almost every price level- full service luxury hotels, resort hotels, moderetly priced full sice hotel, and economy or budget motels. Compared to the old inns and monastaries used for lodging, this industry has made a full swing change to accommodate to new demands by their customers and new technological innovations.
Like the lodging industry, the food service industry is a very old industry. Service like this came out of the early inns and moastaries. In cities, small restaurants served different types of soups and breads. One such restaurant, le restaurante devin- the divine restorative-opened in Paris in 1765. (Lattin pg54) The famous old English taverns porvided food, drinks, and lodging
With the development of stagecoaches, taverns began providing food and lodging along the early roads and in small communities. Some believe that these roadside taverns were really the beginnings of the American hotel industry.
The food service industry now, consists of restaurants, travel food service and vending and contract institutional food service. Local restaurants are made up of establishments that include fast food units, coffee shops, specialty restaurants, family restaurants, cafeterias, and full-service restaurants. Basically, a type of restaurant to accommodate to anyones economic position. Travel food service, something that positively did not exist with the beginning of the food industry, consists of food service on planes, trains, ships, and so on.
Travelers contribute about $84 billion to food service sales each year, whether for a coffee shop breakfast or a dinner on an airline. Travlers, including foreign visitors, spend more money on food than anything else except transporations, and travelers account for about one-third of the total sales in the food industry.
From 4000 b.c. to today the hospitality industry has had a major “face-lift.” Uncontrollably, travel was modernized, food service changed, recration was enjoyed by all, and lodging went from a guestroom to a full size suite. What make the hospitality industry different today from its original state are the economic and historical implications that have influenced its growth.
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