Understanding the Concept of Accommodations Provided to Travellers–Historical Background
Travel subsequently grew for religion pilgrimage purposes. Travellers in the thousands visited religious centers. Many monasteries and cathedrals welcomed the traveller and made their stay a comfortable experience.
The accommodation provided at these places was free. By the fifteenth century, inns had developed in several countries of Europe, especially in England and France.
During the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, the facilities provided in the inns were expanded. Some of the inns had as many as 30 or more rooms.
English common law declared the inn to be a public house and imposed social responsibility on the innkeeper for the well-being of the traveller. Even today large number of old inns still operates in England as hotels. Some of these were built about four hundred years ago.
In the United States another type of accommodation unit known as the tavern was opened in 1634 by a man called Samuel Coles. Coles had come to the New World in search of a fortune in 1630 by a ship. By 1780, taverns were popular meeting places where people used to come for eating, drinking and entertainment.
Many important events were associated with taverns. In 1783, General George Washington bid farewell to his top-ranking officers at the Frances Tavern in New York City. The famous Boston Tea Party was planned in a tavern called Green Dragon.
With the growth of travel in the eighteenth century there appeared in London the prototype of the modern hotel with the opening by one David Low in 1774.
The next fifty years saw a gradual increase in the recognizable ancestors of the modern hotel in London and in resorts such as Brighton and Buxton and also certain other places. In the United States of America, hotels emerged from taverns by the simple expedient of a change of name.
By about 1800, the terms tavern and hotel were used to describe the same thing. By the year 1820, hotel became the accepted term to describe a place where people stayed for the night and took their meals on payment. In the 1820s the first tourist hotel appeared in Switzerland.
Until about the middle of the nineteenth century the bulk of the journeys were undertaken for business and vocational reasons, by road and within the boundaries of the individual countries.
The volume of travel was relatively small and was confined to a fraction of the rich segments of the population in any country.
Inns and similar establishments along the main highways and in the principal towns grew to become the hallmark of the accommodation for the travellers.
The traveller could reasonably expect at most inns a clean and comfortable accommodation when he wished to eat or spend the night. It provided the bulk of accommodation en route. This trend continued until the end of the nineteenth century, as most of those who did travel did so by coach.