Introduction to Hospitality

Introduction to Hospitality

The history of the American hospitality industry dates back to Colonial days, when boarding houses and taverns dotted the landscape.

The modern industry became more apparent with the development of hotels and resorts in the 18th and 19th centuries. The United States' first hotel opened in New York City in 1794.

During the 1850s, the nation's oldest continually operating hotel, Omni Parker House, opened in Boston, and the nation's first major resort area, Atlantic City, began development.

The Industrial Revolution helped to fuel travel, tourism, and hotel stays -- not only was transportation becoming more available, but workers were also granted vacation time for the first time in history.

By the 1900s, there were about 10,000 hotels in the United States.

The Lenox Hotel and Suites, then known simply as the Lenox Hotel, advertised "fireproof lodging, unexcelled cuisine, a shower bath, roof garden, and American/European lodging plans starting at $2."

Hospitality Industry Today

Today, the hospitality industry generates more than $1.3 trillion annually. The United States boasts more than 61,000 lodging establishments and well over 500,000 privately-owned restaurants.

The hotel industry alone accounts for 1.9 million jobs, while restaurant managers hold over 316,000 positions, and travel agents hold 105,000 jobs.

The hospitality industry includes myriad sectors, including hotels and lodging, food service, travel agencies, cruises, resorts, car rental services, marketing, finance, customer service, security, casinos, and entertainment venues.

Jobs exist in all areas of the country, and post-secondary education has become essential for aspiring hospitality managers to keep abreast of industry changes and remain competitive in the marketplace.

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