Tourism in Spain
Tourism as a relatively new phenomenon in the world, the structure of tourism industry, accommodations and catering service and transportation. Tourism in Spain: ideal times for a Spanish trip, eating and drinking. Classification of accommodation.
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1. Tourism industry in the world
1.1 Structure of tourism industry in the world
1.2 Tourism and transportation in the world
1.3 Accommodation and catering service in the world
2. Tourism in Spain
2.1 Useful information about Spain
2.2 When to go to Spain
2.3 Eating and drinking in Spain
3. Accommodation in Spain
3.1 Classification criteria
3.2 Barcelona hotels
3.3 Madrid hotels
The name of my course paper is «Accommodation in Spain». But it also contains the information on the industry of tourism both in the world and in Spain. I think that tourism is one of the major branches of economy, and accommodation is a part of the tourist structure. I have chosen this topic because Spain is the important tourist centre in the world, and it has the advanced system of accommodation. That is why this topic is actual for today.
The purpose of my course paper is the description of structure of the tourist industry in the world and accommodations in Spain.
Object of course paper is the industry of tourism in the world, a subject - accommodation in Spain.
Problems of course paper:
· to give concept that what is tourism as a whole?
· to describe the structure of the tourist industry;
· to state the purposes of tourism;
· to describe the tourist industry in the world and in Spain;
· To describe the system of accommodations in Spain.
1. Tourism industry in the world
1.1 Structure of Tourism industry
Tourism has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years. Indeed, the growth rate of tourism has generally exceeded the growth rate for the worldwide economy.
Tourism has become the world's most important economic activity:
· According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), annual expenditure worldwide on tourism is more than 3.5 trillion US dollars. In 1994, tourism accounts for 12 per cent of the world's Gross National Product (GNP).
· The travel and tourism industry has become the principal source of job creation in many countries and employs more than 183 million people worldwide.
· The economic impact of the industry has been considerable. It is responsible for approximately 7 per cent of global capital expenditure.
Sometimes it seems as though a new resort area springs up every day wherever there are sun and sea. The shores of the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas and the Pacific coastlines of Mexico, Florida, and Hawaii are only a few of the areas that have been intensively developed in the past few years.
In spite of this rapid growth it is not easy to define tourism and accurate statistics are not easy to obtain. Tourism necessarily involves travel; a tourist is usually defined as a person who is visiting some place other than his usual residence for more than 24 hours. A tourist is distinguished by the length of his trip from an excursionist, who is away from his usual residence for less than 24 hours, or most a weekend.
The question of purpose, however, also must enter into the definition of tourism. Many people travel entirely for the purpose of recreation or pleasure; they are people on holiday. Other people travel for reasons of health. Originally, both the Riviera and Switzerland were tourist destinations as health resorts. Other people travel to visit friends or relatives, a reason that has become more important because of increased mobility throughout the world. Still others travel in order to educate themselves in accord with the old precept that travel is broadening.
All of these people are generally considered tourists since the primary reason for their trips is recreation. Most tourist statistics also include people who are traveling on business. Among them are businessmen and government officials on specific missions, as well as people attending meetings or conventions. Another kind of business travel is the incentive trip. It is a trip offered by an organization, usually a business firm, to reward successful effort or to induce on employee to make a greater effort. A bonus or reward is given, for example, to a salesman who has exceeded his quota. Many people among those traveling on business often combine pleasure with their work. They also use the same transportation, accommodations, and catering facilities as the holiday tourists. Accommodations refer to hotels or other places where a traveler can find rest and shelter; catering facilities refers to places where a traveler or another member of the public can find food and drink.
Not included in the area of tourism are people who travel someplace in order to take up a job there. This excludes from tourism the migrants who have been an important part of the modern industrial scene in the more industrialized countries of North Europe or in the continental United States. Students who travel to another region or country where they are enrolled in a regular school are also not usually included in tourist statistics.
The marketing approach for the two major divisions among tourists -recreational and business travelers - is somewhat different. The recreational travelers respond to a greater degree to lower fares and other inducements in pricing and selecting the destination for their trips. In a technical phrase, they make up a price elastic market. The business groups, on the other hand, make up a price inelastic market. Their trips are not scheduled according to lower fares, the destination is determined in advance, and the expense is usually paid for by (heir employers. They are looking for dependable rather than inexpensive service. Business travelers also make more trips to large cities or industrial centers than to resort areas, although many conventions are now held at resort hotels. It should be noted, however, that some large cities, such as London, Paris, New York, Rome, and Tokyo, are themselves the most important tourist destinations in the world. Because of this, it is difficult to separate pure recreation travel from business travel.
Tourism is a relatively new phenomenon in the world. Since being away from home is a necessary component of tourism, its development as a mass industry depended on modern means of rapid and inexpensive transportation. Tourism as we know it today began with the building of the railroads in the 19th Century. In fact, the words tourism and tourist themselves were not used for the first time until about 1800. The first tour in the modern sense was put together by Thomas Cook in England in 184l, and the line of Thomas (Cook and Sons has remained one of the prominent names in (lie tourist industry. Steamships also increased tourism, especially across the North Atlantic, the major route of modern tourism. The automobile and the airplane in still more recent times have also become major modes of transportation for recreational purposes. The greatest growth in international tourism has taken place only since the end of World War II in 1945, and it has paralleled the growth of air transportation.
Industrialization has produced the other conditions that are necessary for tourism. Among them is the creation of a large number of people with an amount of disposable income--income above and beyond what is needed for basic expenses such as food, shelter, clothing, and taxes.
The working population of industrialized countries is enjoying increased leisure time and more holidays. Although this is common to all industrialized countries, there are significant differences between nations. For example, the length of the annual paid holiday in the United States and Japan is generally less than a month and sometimes just a fortnight. Western European workers are entitled to longer paid holidays. France, in particular, allows its workforce five weeks of statutory annual paid leave. If national holidays are included, the French enjoy up to eight weeks of paid vacation a year.
Another important condition is urbanization, the growth of large cities. Residents of the big population centers take more holiday trips than residents of rural areas. Anyone who has been to Paris in August, for example, cannot help but observe that a great many of the inhabitants--with the exception of those who serve foreign tourists--are away on vacation.
Before industrialization, there was a sharp distinction between the leisure class and the working class. Nowadays, however, the concept of leisure in the form of long weekends and paid vacations has spread to the working class. This may be the most important factor in modern tourism. Millions of factory workers in northern European countries take their paid vacations in sunny southern European countries. In many cases the cost of the holiday is subsidized partly or wholly by government, unions, or employers. This subsidized recreational travel is called social tourism. In the western countries, an example is the incentive trip that was mentioned previously for residents of Russia and the other Communist countries, social tourism is practically the only kind of recreational travel that exists.
The importance of industrialization can be seen from the fact that approximately 80 percent of international tourists come from the industrialized countries--Canada and the United States, the nations of Western Europe, and Japan. Two of these countries, the United States and West Germany, account for about half of this tourist traffic. In addition, all of these countries generate a large amount of internal tourism. As we have already noted, the major cities in these countries are also major tourist attractions in themselves. They offer a great variety of cultural, educational, and historical attractions.
Sun-and-sea areas that are near the major markets for tourists derive a large part of their income from tourism. On the Mediterranean, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Morocco and Tunisia all have highly developed travel industries. Off the cost of the United States, the Bahamas and Bermuda among others attract large numbers of tourists. It has been estimated) that in the Bahamas an income of more than $1,500 a year per person can be attributed to tourism.
If the tourist statistics on numbers of tourists are inexact, those on their expenditures are even more so. Some of the figures are relatively accurate, such as the amount of money spent on long-distance travel, hotel accommodations, and catering services within the hotels. Other statistics, however, present problems in analysis. How large a proportion of the sales of stores in or near resort areas can be attributed to tourist spending? Or how much do tourists spend on local transportation or entertainment? Even though it is difficult to arrive at exact figures for these expenditures, it should be noted that tourism benefits not only airlines, hotels, restaurants, and taxi drivers, among others, but also many commercial establishments and even the manufacturers of such varied items as sun-glasses, cameras, film, and sports clothing.
One of the principal reasons for encouraging a tourist industry in many developing countries is the so-called multiplier effect of the tourist dollar. Money paid for wages or in other ways is spent not once but sometimes several times for other items in the economy--the food that hotel employees eat at home, for example, or the houses in which they live, or the 'durable goods that they buy. In some countries the multiplier can be a factor as high as 3, but it is often a lower number because of leakage. Leakage comes from the money that goes out of the economy either in the form of imports that are necessary to sustain the tourist industry or in profits that are drained off by investors. In some tourist areas, it has been necessary to import workers. The U.S. Virgin Islands is one example. However, many of these workers cause leakages in the form of remittances to their home countries.
However, tourism results not only in sociocultural benefits but also in problems. Imagine the feelings of an employee in a developing country who earns perhaps $ 5 per day when he or she sees wealthy tourist flaunting money, jewelry, and a lifestyle not obtainable. Another example might be nude or scanty-clad female tourists sunbathing in a Moslem country. Critics argue that, at best, tourism dilutes the culture of a country by imposing the mass tourism market. Most resorts offer little opportunity for meaningful social interaction between the tourist and the host community. As a rule, only the lower positions are filled by the local people in the luxury hotels built by foreign developers.
On the other hand, proponents of the sociocultural benefits of tourism are able to point out that tourism is a clean and green industry, that most of hotels are built with concern for the environment and use local crafts people, designers, and materials. Tourism brings new revenue to the area; it also creates and maintains higher rate of employment than if there were no tourism. It may act as a catalyst for the development of the community because this revenue helps to provide schools, hospitals, and so on.
Another attraction of the tourist industry for the developing countries is that it is labor-intensive; that is, it requires a large number of workers in proportion to the people who are served. This is a common feature of service industries, which deal with intangible products--like a holiday--rather than tangible products-like an electric toaster.
The tourist industry is not a single entity. It consists of many different kinds of enterprises that offer different services to the traveler.
1.2 Tourism and transportation in the world
Being in a different place from one's usual residence is an essential feature of tourism. This means that transportation companies are one vital aspect in the total tourist industry, regardless of what other business (such as carrying freight) they may undertake. Without the modern high-speed forms of transportation that are available to large numbers of people, tourism would be possible only for a tiny fraction of the population.
During the 19th Century, railroads spread across Europe, North America, and many other parts of the world. They formed the first successful system of mass transportation, carrying crowds of people to such English seaside resorts as Brighton, Margate, and Blackpool. The tourists on Thomas Cook's first organized tour in 1841 traveled by railroad.
Steamships were developed at about the same time as railroads, but during the first half of the 19th Century, they were used for the most part on inland waterways. In the second half of the century, steamships that could cover longer distances were developed. By 1900, they were carrying passengers and freight on all, the oceans of the world. Historically, the North Atlantic route between Western Europe and North America has been the most important. In the period between the two world wars, steamships made scheduled crossings between New York and either Southampton or Cherbourg in only five days.
Unfortunately for those people who prefer leisurely travel, both railroads and steamships have lost much of their business in the past twenty years. The automobile has replaced the railroad for most local travel, especially in the United States, where the only remaining route that,offers adequate passenger service is between New York anc1 Washington. Passenger train service is better in Europe than in the United States, but it has been cut sharply on many routes. The New Tokaido Line between Tokyo and Osaka in Japan is one of the few successful passenger services to be operated in recent times.
The automobile offers convenience. The traveler can depart from his own home and arrive at his destination without transferring baggage or having to cope with any of the other difficulties that would ordinarily confront him. The apparent costs of a trip by automobile are also lower, especially for family groups, although the actual costs, including such hidden items as depreciation (a lowering or falling in value), may be greater than realized. A very large percentage of domestic tourism now takes advantage of the automobile for transportation. In Europe, where the distance from one national boundary to another may be very short, automobiles are also used extensively for international journeys.
For long-distance travel, the airplane has replaced the railroad and the ship as the principal carrier. The airplane has become so commonplace that we often fail to realize what a recent development in transportation it really is. The first transatlantic passenger flights were made only a few years before World War II began in 1939. Frequent service came into being only after the war, and it was not until jets were introduced in the 1950's that passenger capacity began to expand to its present dimensions.
The railroads have suffered on short-distance routes as well as on long-distance routes. Motor buses, or coaches as they are called in England, have replaced railroad passenger service on many local routes. Most small towns in the United States are served only by bus.
Regularly scheduled steamship passenger service has disappeared from almost all transoceanic routes. Ships still play an important part in tourism, however, for the purpose of cruising. A cruise is a voyage by ship that is made for pleasure rather than to arrive quickly at a fixed destination. The cruise ship acts as the hotel for the passengers as well as their means of transportation. When the tourists reach a port, they are usually conducted on one-day excursions, but return to the ship to eat and to sleep. A majority of cruise ships operate in the "warm seas," the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Wider-ranging cruises-- around-the-world, for example, or even into Antarctic waters off the tip of South America--have been offered for the more adventurous. Many of the liners that once sailed on transatlantic or transpacific routes have been converted for cruising, but they are often unable to operate economically on cruise routes. Smaller and lighter ships that are especially designed for cruising have been built in recent years. Ships play another part in modern tourism as car ferries. Particularly in Europe, the tourist who wants to have his car with him on a trip can take advantage of car ferries across the English Channel or the Strait of Gibraltar. Car ferries even ply across large bodies of water such as the North Sea between England or Scotland and Scandinavia. The city of Dover on the English Channel now handles the largest volume of passenger traffic of any port in the United Kingdom primarily because of car ferry services.
Another travel phenomenon of recent times that has grown up as a result of the prevalence of the automobile is the car rental agency. If you don't want to take your own car with you, you can rent one for local travel at just about any tourist terminus in the world today. Many of the agencies--such as Hertz and Avis--that began in the United States now operate on a worldwide basis.
Because the airlines are now so prominent in the tourist industry, it is important to remember that there are in fact two kinds of airline operations, scheduled and nonscheduled. A scheduled airline operates on fixed routes at fixed times according to a timetable that is available to the public. A nonscheduled airline operates on routes and at times when there is a demand for the service. The nonscheduled airline is, in other words, a charter operation that rents its aircraft. The competition between the two has been so intense in the last few years that the media has called it the "Battle of the North Atlantic."
The scheduled airlines aim their services primarily at business travelers, at people visiting friends and relatives, and at others who travel alone or in small groups. A scheduled airline flight is usually filled with strangers going to the same destination. Until very recently, a scheduled flight on some routes needed a load factor of only a little over 50 percent at regular fares to assure a profit. The load (actor is the percentage of seats that have been sold on a (light.
As seating capacity increased with the introduction of newer, larger, and faster planes, the airlines were able to offer a percentage of their seats for sale through travel agents or tour operators. By means of these special fares, they were able to increase their business substantially on such major tourist routes as the North Atlantic, the northeastern United States to the Caribbean, and northern Europe to the Mediterranean. The greatest growth in tourism began with the introduction of these ITX fares, as they are called, in the 1950's and 1960's.
IT stands for inclusive tour, a travel package that offers both transportation and accommodations, and often entertainment as well. ITX stands for tour-basing fares. They are offered by scheduled airlines to travel-agents or tour operators who sell the package to the general public. Still another important abbreviation in tourism is CIT, charter inclusive tour, one that utilizes a charter airplane for transportation.
The nonscheduled airlines got a start largely as a result of government business. International crises like the Berlin Airlift and the Vietnamese War created a need for greater capacity than either the scheduled airlines or military transport aircraft could fill. In addition to transporting supplies or military personnel, the nonscheduled airlines chartered - that is, rented - entire flights to groups that were traveling to the same destination - businessmen and their wives attending a convention, for example, or members of a music society attending the Salzburg Festival. Groups traveling to the same place for a similar purpose are called affinity groups.
In Europe, entire flights were chartered to groups that were set up only for the purpose of travel, usually a holiday on the shores of the Mediterranean. These charter inclusive tours were sold at even lower fares than the inclusive tours on the scheduled airlines. In the United States, the scheduled airlines have tried to capture as much of the traffic as possible, including taking numerous steps to restrict chartering. At present there is a rather uneasy compromise. The scheduled airlines are able to offer some of the services developed by the non-scheduled carriers, while the charter lines have been allowed more latitude concerning the kinds of groups to which they can sell their services.
All transportation is subject to regulation by government, but the airlines are among the most completely regulated of all carriers. The routes they can fly, the number of flights, and many other matters are controlled by means of bilateral agreements between different countries in the case of international airlines. For domestic flights, most countries have a national agency like the CAB--the Civil Aeronautics Board in the Department of Transportation--in the United States. Because of the importance of the United States in generating tourist traffic, decisions by the CAB often have a great deal of influence throughout the world, even though they concern domestic flights within the United States.
Fares on international services are set by agreement through IT, the International Air Transport Association, with headquarters at Montreal. IT is a voluntary association of the airlines, but almost all the international scheduled carriers are members. Government influence is strong since many of the airlines are at least partially owned by the governments.
During the 1960's, the airlines were extremely successful, with increased capacity, higher load factors, and, above all, greater profits. In the 1970's, sharply increased fuel costs and a general business recession in the industrialized countries caused many airlines to operate at a loss. Many of the jumbo jets that had been placed in operation with such high hopes were withdrawn from service and placed in storage. Fares, which had tended to decrease as capacity increased, began to rise again.
The airlines, both scheduled and nonscheduled, must therefore overcome many problems in the next few years. They need to reduce their operating costs to a level where they can continue to offer fares that will make holiday travel attractive to as many people as possible. And they have not solved the problem of attracting new passengers. As important as air transportation is for the tourist industry, it is estimated that only about 2 percent of the world's population has ever traveled by plane.
1.3 Accommodations and catering service in the world
The word hospitality comes from "hospice", an old French word meaning "to provide care and shelter". The first institutions of this kind, taverns, had existed long before the word was coined. In Ancient Rome they were located on the main roads, to provide food and fresh horses and overnight accommodation for officials and couriers of the government with special documents. The contemporaries proclaimed these inns to be "fit for a king". That is why such documents became a symbol of status and were subject to thefts and forgeries.
Some wealthy landowners built their own taverns on the edges of their j estates. Nearer the cities, inns and taverns were run by freemen or by retired gladiators who would invest their savings in this business in the same way that many of today's retired athletes open restaurants. Innkeepers, as a whole, were hardly the Conrad Hiltons of their day. Inns for common folk were regarded as dens of vice and often served as houses of pleasure. The owners were required to report any customers who planned crimes in their taverns. The penalty for not doing so was death. The death penalty could be imposed merely for watering the beer!
After the fall of the Roman Empire, public hospitality for the ordinary travelers became the province of religious orders. In these days, the main purpose of traveling was pilgrimage to the holy places. The pilgrims preferred to stay in the inns located close to religious sites or even on the premises of the monasteries Monks raised their own provisions on their own grounds, kitchens were cleaner and better organized than in private households. So the food was often of a quality superior to that found elsewhere on the road.
The first big hotels with hundreds of rooms were built in the vicinity of railroad terminals to serve the flood of new passengers. This new hotels were more impersonal than the old-fashioned family-style inn or hotel. Indeed, they were usually organized as corporations in what we now consider a more businesslike manner. The cluster of hotels around Grand Central Station in New York is a good surviving example of the impact of railroads on the hotel business.
A wide variety of accommodations is available to the modern tourist. They vary from the guest house or tourist home with one or two rooms to grand luxury hotels with hundreds of rooms. Many of these hotels, like the famous Raffles in Singapore, are survivors of a more leisurely and splendid age that served the wealthy. A feature of Europe is the pension, a small established with perhaps ten to twenty guest room. Originally, pensions not only lodging but also full board, all of the day's meals for the guest. Nowadays, however, most of them offer only a bed, usually at an inexpensive rate, and a “continental breakfast" of coffee and rolls.
Many people travel to Europe because of its rich historical and cultural heritage. As a result, many old homes and castles have been converted into small hotels. American travel magazines often carry advertisements for holidays in "genuine European castles”. Many old inns have also been restored to serve people with similar romantic tastes.
The major trend in the hotel industry today, however, is toward the large corporate-operated hotel. Many of these hotels might well be described as “package”. A number of large companies have assumed a dominant place in the hotel industry. The biggest is Holiday Inns, which in 1975 had 274,000 rooms. Others that operate on a worldwide basis are Sheraton, Inter-Continental, Trust Houses Forte, Hilton International, and Ramada Inns.
Ownership of these hotel companies is an indication of their importance to travel industry as a whole. Hilton International is owned by Trans World Airlines, and Inter-Continental by Pan American Airways; Sheraton is a subsidiary of the huge multinational corporation, ITT. Many other airlines and travel companies have also entered the hotel business and some of the tour operators, especially in Europe, own or operate hotels.
Some of the hotel corporations operate on a franchise basis; that is, the hotel and its operation are designed by the corporation, but the right to run it is sold or leased. The operator then pays a percentage to the parent corporation. His franchise can be withdrawn, however, if he does not maintain the standards that have been established. Other hotel companies serve primarily as managers. The Caribe Hilton, the first and most successful of the big resort hotels in Puerto Rico, was built by the government of the island, which then gave the Hilton company a management contract.
Large, modern hotels contain not only guest rooms, but many other facilities as well. They usually contain restaurants and cocktail lounges, shops, and recreational facilities such as swimming pools or health clubs. Many hotels also have facilities for social functions, conventions, and conferences- ballrooms, auditoriums, meeting rooms of different sizes, exhibit areas, and so forth. Not so long ago, convention facilities were ordinarily found only in large cities or in intensively developed resort areas like Miami Beach. Nowadays, they are more often included in resort hotels so that the people who attend conventions there can combine business with pleasure.
Another modern development in the hotel business is the motel, a word made up from motor and hotel. The motel might best be described as a place that has accommodations both for automobiles and human beings. The typical motel is a low structure around which is built a parking lot to enable the guests to park their cars as close as possible to their rooms. In urban areas, a large garage takes the place of the parking lot.
Another trend in the hotel industry is the construction of the self-contained resort complex. This consists of a hotel and recreational, facilities, all of which in effect are isolated from the nearby community. Examples include the holiday "villages" that have been built by (Club Mediterranee for its members. Another example is the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico, built by the Rockefeller-owned Rockresorts. Among other recreational features, the Dorado Beach Hotel has two eighteen-hole championship golf courses on its grounds. It is located far enough from the hotel strip in San Juan to make a trip into the city rather difficult.
Casinos, wherever they are legal, are another feature of some hotels. In Las Vegas, Nevada, the hotels are really secondary to gain-bling. They feed, house, and entertain the guests, but the real profits come from the casinos. In Puerto Rico and other places, gambling usually acts as an additional, rather than the principal, attraction for the hotels.
Still another trend in resort accommodations is condominium construction. The condominium is a building or group of buildings in which individuals purchase separate units. At the same time they become joint owners of I he public facilities of the structure and its grounds and recreational areas. The condominium has become popular because of the desire of many people to own a second home for vacations. Indeed, many of the owners maintain their condominiums just for this purpose. Others, however, make arrangements whereby they can rent their space when they are not occupying it. It is an obvious attraction for someone who has only a month's vacation a year to be able to make an income from his property for the remaining eleven months. Many owners make enough money in rentals to pay for the purchase price and the maintenance costs of the condominium.
Caravanning and camping reflect another trend in modern tourism, thanks in large part to the automobile. Cars variously called caravans, vans, or campers come equipped with sleeping quarters and even stoves and refrigerators. They are in effect small mobile homes, or at least hotel rooms. Many people also carry tents and other equipment with which they can set up a temporary home. Facilities are now offered in many resort areas for camping. The operator may rent only space, but he may also provide electricity and telephone set vice.
A similar kind of arrangement exists for boat owners who wish to use their boats for accommodations while they are traveling in them. This involves the marina, a common feature of resort areas on waterways. The coast of Florida, for example, is dotted with marinas.
A few resorts that contain a mixture of several different kinds of accommodations have been built in recent years. Probably the most spectacular example is the Costa Smeralda development, constructed on the Italian island of Sardinia by a syndicate headed by the Aga Khan. It contains hotels of varying price ranges, residential areas, marinas, elaborate recreational facilities, and even some light industry. The syndicate's own airline flies passengers to the island from such points as Nice and Home. The Costa Smeralda is the largest and most expensive example in the world of developing not just a resort but an entire resort area. Careful planning included not only mixture of facilities, but also the architecture and the preservation natural landscape.
Some resort areas do not reflect this careful planning Miami Beach, for example, is a monument to tourism and the accommodations industry that serves it, but the beach now is hardly visible because of the hotels that form a wall along the oceanfront. The Condado Beach section of San Juan in Puerto Rico is very similar There are also intensive hotel and apartment developments on the Mediterranean, at Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol in Spain, for example and along much of the coastline of the French Riviera.
In spite of the growth of these and other examples of resort areas blessed with sun and sea, cities like New York, London, and Paris still contain the greatest concentrations of hotels, in 1975. New York had approximately 1OO.OOO guest rooms to 40,000 in Miami Beach. This once again reinforces the fact that the large established cities are still the most important destinations. They can absorb tourism more easily and less conspicuously than areas in which tourism is the principal business.
The hotel business has its own load factor in the form of tin occupancy rate. This is the percentage of rooms or beds that are occupied at a certain point in time or over a period of time. One of the hazards of the hotel business is a high occupancy rate during one season and a very low one during another. For instance, Miami Beach essentially a winter resort. Hotels there try to increase occupancy in the summer by offering very low rates. On the other hand, many summer resorts--like those in New England -- have built winter sports facilities to attract people during then off-season,
Catering, providing food and drink for transients, has always, gone together with accommodations. Food services are a feature of hotels. The typical modern "packaged hotel" includes a restaurant, a coffee shop for quicker and less expensive meals, and a bar cocktail lounge. Many larger hotels have several restaurants, often featuring different kinds of foods, as well as different prices. Hotels also normally provide room service- food and drink that arc brought to the guest's room. In addition, catering service is usually provided in the hotel's recreational areas. The poolside bar and snack bar, for quick food, are normal parts of the service at a resort hotel.
Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs outside the hotels are a standard feature of the resort scene. Indeed, many resorts could not really operate without them. They provide not only catering, but also some kind of entertainment for the tourist who is bored with the limits of hotel life. In some areas, like Miami Beach, they have sprung up without any apparent design, but in others, like the Costa Smeralda, they are carefully coordinated features of the total plan. In cities like New York, London, or Paris, restaurants and other catering establishments that serve the resident population obtain additional business from the tourists who flock to those cities.
Food, in fact, may be one of the reasons why people travel. Many people go out of their way to visit France, for example, because of the gourmet meals that are served there. Similarly, the excellent restaurants of Hong Kong constitute one of its principal tourist attractions.
It should also be pointed out that many grocery stores, delicatessens, and liquor stores make money from tourism. This is true in large tourist cities like New York and in resort areas like Miami Beach. There is usually a food store at or near most marinas and camping areas. The accommodations and catering service industries employ large numbers of people. According to the United States census of 1970, more than 733,000 people were working in hotels, and more than 3.3 million in restaurants. Of course not all of these depend on the tourist trade, but the figures are indicative of the amount of labor involved in these businesses. At a luxury hotel, there may be as many as two or three employees for every guest room. At a large commercial hotel, there are usually about eight employees for every ten guest rooms.
This intensive use of labor is one of the reasons why tourism is so attractive to developing countries. Furthermore, many of the hotel and restaurant jobs are semiskilled work, so only a small amount of training is necessary to fill them.
2. Tourism in Spain
2.1 Useful information about Spain
If you are coming to Spain for the first time, be warned: this is a country that fast becomes an addiction. You might intend to come just for a beach holiday, or a tour of the major cities, but before you know it you'll find yourself hooked by something quite different - by the celebration of some local fiesta, perhaps, or the amazing nightlife in Madrid, by the Moorish monuments of Andalusia, by Basque cooking, or the wild landscapes and birds of Estremadura. And by then, of course, you will have noticed that there is not just one Spain but many. Indeed, Spaniards often speak about Spain in the plural.
The cities - above all - are compellingly individual. Barcelona, for many, has the edge: for Gouda's splendid modernista architecture, the lively promenade of Las Ramblas, and not least, for Bara - the city's football team. But Madrid, although not as pretty, has the advantages. The city and its people, immortalized in the movies of Pedro Almodavar, have a vibrancy and style that is revealed in a thousand bars and summer terrazas. Not to mention three of the world's finest art museums. Then there's Sevilla, home of flamenco in southern Spain; Valencia, Levantine, city with the vibrant nightlife to equal any European rival; and Bilbao, due to Frank Gehry's astonishing Guggenheim museum, is the most visited tourist place of «Basque's country».
Touring Castile and Lean, you confront the classic Spanish images of great cathedrals and reconsquista castles. Andalusia has the great mosques and Moorish palaces of Granada, Sevilla and Cordoba; Castile has the superbly preserved medieval capital, Toledo.
The best places for rest in Spain are undeniably its beaches. Long tracts of coastline - along the Costa del Sol, in particular - have been developed into concrete hotel complexes. On the Costa Brava, the string of coves between Palamos and Begur are often overlooked, while in the south there are superb windsurfing waters around Tarifa and some decidedly key resorts along the Costa de la Luz.
Wherever you are in Spain, you can't help but notice the Spaniards infectious enthusiasm for life.
2.2 When to go to Spain
Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a Spanish trip - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The high central plains suffer from fierce extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round, and in parts of Andalusia positively subtropical, warm enough to wear a T-shirt by day even in the winter months.
In high summer the other factor worth considering is tourism itself. Spain plays host to some thirty million tourists a year - almost one for every resident - and all the main beach and mountain resorts are packed in July and August, as are the major sights. August, Spain's how holiday month, sees the coast as its most crowded and the cities, by contrast, pretty sleepy.
2.3 Eating and drinking in Spain
There are two ways to eat in Spain: you can go to a restaurant or commodore (dining room) and have a full meal, or you can have a succession of tapas (small snacks) or raciones (larger ones) at one or more bars.
At the bottom line a comedor - where you'll get a basic, filling, three-course meal with a drink, the menu del dia - is the cheapest option, but they're often tricky to find, and drab places when you do. Bars tend to work out pricier but a lot more interesting, allowing you to do the rounds and sample local or house specialties.
3. Accommodation in Spain
3.1 Classification criteria (According to internationally accepted standards)
Hotels are classified from five to two stars. Aparthotels and tourist villages are classified as two, three or four star. Guest houses are classified as 'comfort' - denoting the highest grade - and 'standard', the lowest grade.
Five stars - fully air-conditioned accommodation; all rooms must have a private bath and shower, a telephone, a radio and TV' set; 24-hour room service; a bar, restaurant and a coffee shop; a lounge area; dancing facilities; a swimming pool and sports facilities; the front office must be manned 24-hours; the property must also offer a laundry, pressing and dry-cleaning service and have shops and a hairdresser.
Four stars - fully Mr-conditioned accommodation; all rooms must have a private bath or shower, an 'internal or external' telephone and radio; room service from breakfast to midnight; a bar, a restaurant and a lounge; a swimming pool or a private beach facility; the front office must be manned 24-hours; the property must also offer a laundry, pressing and dry-cleaning service and have shops and a hairdresser.
Three stars - all rooms must have a private bath or shower and an 'internal or external' telephone; a bar, a restaurant and a lounge; the front office must be manned on a 24-hour basis; the property must also offer a laundry, pressing and dry-cleaning service.
Two stars - at least 20 per cent of rooms must have a bath or shower; all rooms must have a wash-hand basin and a mirror plus a telephone or service bell; breakfast facilities must be available; the front office must be manned during the day, at night a porter service must be available.
3.2 Barcelona Hotels
1. Barbara Hotel - 2 stars
Barbara Hotel is located in the heart of Barcelona, near the famous Las Ramblas and El Raval (Barcelona's vibrant red light district). The hotel is within walking distance to the Gothic District, Plaza Catalonia, Montjuic, Olympic Port and Palace of Fairs and Congresses. The beaches of Barcelona can be found at about 15 minutes walking distance. The nearest metro stations are Liceu and Parallel (Green Line L3).
Hotel facilities: Breakfast room; Bar; Disabled facilities;
Room facilities: Private bathroom; Hairdryer (on request); direct dial telephone; Heating; Television; Radio.
2. Bona Nova Park Hotel - 2 stars
The Bona Nova Hotel is situated in a very quiet and residential area of the city close to the business area of the Avenida Diagonal. It is also close to the fair grounds and attractions. The city centre can be reached in ten minutes by taxi. The nearest metro station to the hotel is Maria Cristina, which is a five minutes walk away.
The hotel's guest rooms are spacious and comfortably decorated.
Hotel facilities: Room service; Group dining room; Car rental facilities; Laundry facilities; Conference facilities;
Room facilities: Television; Direct dial phone; Mini bar; Automatic wake-up call; Voltage: 220v.
3. Alexandra Hotel - 3 stars
Alexandra Hotel Barcelona is situated in Mallorca Street, very close to the main cultural sites of the city, the business centers and the most important shopping and leisure areas. The location of the Alexandra Hotel, between the Paseo de Garcia and the Rambla de Cataluna, as well as its interior design, evoke the modernist style of the city. The hotel's restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, and cocktails and snacks are available at the bar.
Hotel facilities: Business/meetings facilities; Car parking (at cost); Safety deposit box; Laundry/dry-cleaning service; Room service; Restaurant;
Room facilities: Air conditioning; Satellite TV; Direct dial telephone; Minibar; Bathroom; Hairdryer.
2. Gran Hotel Catalonia -3 stars
The Gran Hotel Catalonia is located in the heart of the Eixample district in Barcelona. The hotel is strategically located close to the key Gaudi Modernist buildings, in the best shopping and services area of the city.
All 84 rooms provide guests with everything they need to feel comfortable. The Gran Hotel Catalonia is both known for its exquisite international restaurant and its local cuisine de marche.
Hotel facilities: Restaurant; Cafeteria; Bar; Car parking; Laundry and dry-cleaning service; Conference and banquet facilities; Fax service at reception desk;
Room facilities: Air conditioning and heating; Satellite television; Radio; Direct dial telephone; Minibar; Safety deposit box; Fully equipped marble bathroom.
3. Catalonia Hotel Berna - 4 stars
Catalonia Hotel Berna is located right in the centre of Barcelona. Being so close to the emblematic Paseo de Gracia and just a step away from Avenida Diagonal, any visitor is within reach of shops and shopping centers with the best names, and also the famous "La Pedrera" building by Antonio Gaudi and the Antoni Tapies Foundation. A short walk away is Plaza de Catalonia and from there, Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter and, finally, the new part of the city opening to the sea, a place for leisure and fun: Port Vell and the Mare magnum. The hotel, housed in the historic building, opened in March 2003.
Hotel facilities: Restaurant; Coffee bar; Car parking; Conference rooms; panoramic lift;
Room facilities: Air conditioning; Direct dial telephone; Minibar; Internet connection; Interactive satellite TV; Pay-per-view movies; Safety deposit box; Complete marble bath room.
4. Aristol Hotel - 4 stars
The Aristol Hotel is situated only a few streets from Sant Pau Hospital. It is a modernist gem that is the work of Domenech i Muntaner. It possesses a plethora of small details that have the objective of guaranteeing the client's comfort.
The hotel offers 25 guest rooms.
Hotel facilities: Reception; Lobby; Car parking; Direct internet access; Laundry; Hairdresser; Lift; Safety deposit box;
Room facilities: Private bathroom; Hairdryer; Air conditioning; Heating; Direct dial telephone; Television.
5. Astoria Hotel - 4 stars
Occupying a building of that eclectic style so characteristic of Barcelona's centre, the Hotel Astoria has also benefited from a perfectionist spirit. Recently renovated while maintaining all the original materials, the latest technical advances have been incorporated, making it possible to enjoy modern comforts in an all-time favorite hotel.
Hotel facilities: Room service; Restaurant; Bar; Car parking; Sauna; Fitness centre; Laundry and ironing service; Meeting rooms;
Room facilities: Air conditioning/heating; Satellite television; Direct dial telephone; Fax modem connection; Safety deposit box; Minibar.
6. Claris Hotel - 5 stars
The Hotel Claris was built in 1992 keeping the facade of the former Palacio Vedruna. All rooms have been decorated with a mixture of modern contemporary and classic styles, using only the finest quality materials. To complement the sophisticated decor there are over 100 antique kilims, 17th and 18th century English and French furniture, and many sculptures from the 2nd to 7th centuries.
Hotel facilities: Restaurants; Car parking/Car rental facilities; Small sized lobby; 24 hour porter age; Outdoor swimming pool; Solarium/Sauna; Gymnasium; Baby sitting; Laundry facilities; Conference facilities;
Room facilities: Air conditioning; Satellite television; Radio; Direct dial phone; Mini bar; Hairdryer; Automatic wake-up call; Voltage: 220v; 24 hour room service.
7. Grand Marina Hotel - 5 stars
The Grand Marina Hotel is located in unique surroundings, on the Mediterranean Sea, in Barcelona's Old Port (Port Vell), near the famous Ramblas Boulevard and the Maremagnum shopping and entertainment centre.
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