Hotels have been important aspects of travel for centuries. They have served as gateways to destinations, decorative showcases, and business exchanges. The hotel industry in America has evolved and expanded dramatically over the past decade. This has helped it become an integral part of the tourism industry, as well as a vital contributor to postwar economic recovery.
Hotels began in the mid-nineteenth century as large urban luxury establishments. Over the years, new types of hotels have emerged, including resorts, business centers, and even family-friendly properties. A growing number of hotels now offer rewards programs and other special services for their guests.
As travel became more popular, more people began to venture abroad. In the early decades of the twentieth century, American hotels played a key role in the development of global capitalism. Not only did they provide Americans with a means to go abroad, but they also became important symbols of economic power.
During the late nineteenth century, hotels began to appear in frontier settlements, and later in cities across the nation. Those early hotels provided places for travelers to rest and recuperate. These hotels also became significant sites for public assembly.
Over time, more hotels would offer amenities such as room service, meeting rooms, and transportation. The rise of railroads, passenger aircraft, and automobiles gave hotels a new national prominence. It also made traveling easier.
Travelers in the United States began venturing abroad in greater numbers after the Second World War. During the next three decades, the hotel industry grew at an unprecedented rate. With millions of workers taking paid vacations, the industry fueled an economic boom. This surge of incomes led to an increase in commercial travel.
Following World War II, the hotel industry became a hot political issue. The rise of organized labor and the development of the interstate highway system helped drive the hotel industry. Several hotels even offered employee discounts.
In the 1970s, the hotel industry fueled a three-decade economic boom. Millions of Americans took paid vacations for the first time. Because of the rise in demand for travel, prices began to rise.
Hotel prices continue to rise today. As pent-up demand drives prices higher, it is important to book a hotel in advance to get the best rates. Some hotels offer credit vouchers in lieu of cancellation fees, and many offer reward programs, which allow guests to earn points and redeem them for travel discounts.
Today, the hotel industry in the United States accounts for a small portion of the total travel industry. But it is a critical component of the tourism industry. And with its increasing popularity, the industry is redefining the way hotels are run. Many hotels are offering more environmentally friendly options, and decoupling more services from accommodations.
Hotels are still an important aspect of travel, and are especially important during busy seasons. Travelers who plan their trips in advance can avoid the hassle of booking last-minute accommodation, and can keep their expenses to a minimum.