Hotels have always played a vital role in travel. They are often the key gateways between destinations and help travelers connect to other people and activities. They also serve as decorative showcases and have served as meeting and business centers. In addition, they offer a variety of amenities, such as free wi-fi.
In addition to being the gateway to destinations, hotels have been a vital part of the postwar economic recovery. The hotel industry has grown at a rate never before seen. The development of the interstate highway system and the growth of organized labor have contributed to the industry’s explosive growth. It has been a driving force behind America’s three-decade economic boom.
A number of hotels now offer rewards programs that allow guests to earn points for redeeming those points for gift cards, discounts for travel and other benefits. Hotels may also offer free room service, parking and transportation. Many hotels offer discount tickets to attractions and tours, as well.
Hotels are often located near attractions, airports and highways, saving travelers the hassle of finding a place to stay. This saves them time, gas and money. The popularity of hotels has expanded with the rise of the automobile. A growing demand for comfort has led to an increase in prices.
The hotel industry’s success has been particularly notable over the past decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry increased by nearly $17 billion last year.
Although the hotel industry has had its share of bad press over the years, the industry has been resurgent in recent years. Front runners are reinventing their business models and finding new opportunities in social and environmental issues. One major player in the tourism industry is Airbnb, the world’s largest listing site for short-term rentals. Designed for travelers who want to stay in an unconventional hotel environment, Airbnb offers a variety of short-term accommodations.
Another alternative to a hotel is a small apartment or hostel. These are ideal for families or budget-conscious travelers. They can cost as much as 15 to 30 percent less than a hotel room and offer a great way to experience a destination without breaking the bank. The only downside to these accommodations is that they can be more expensive in peak tourist season. However, they can be an ideal choice for travelers who have special needs.
In fact, a recent study found that the average hotel rate is 15% cheaper if you book at least fifteen days in advance. Several hotels are also offering flexible cancellation policies. Some hotels even offer credit vouchers in lieu of cancellation fees. Choosing a hotel in advance can ensure that you get the room you desire.
A variety of online price comparison sites are now available to help travelers find the best deal on hotels. These sites offer hotel ratings, pictures and the ability to compare different hotel brands. You can also find discounted hotels during peak tourist season.
If you’re traveling for business, you may be able to secure a better rate by booking a hotel in advance. You may even be able to receive a refund if you pay in full for your reservation.