Although the skills and experience needed by workers in the hospitality industry depend on the specific occupation, most entry-level jobs require little or no previous training. Basic tasks usually can be learned in a short time. Almost all workers in the hotel and other accommodations industry undergo on-the-job training.
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Hospitality Career

Hotels and other accommodations are as diverse as the many family and business travelers they accommodate. The industry includes all types of lodging, from upscale hotels to RV parks. Motels, resorts, casino hotels, bed-and-breakfast inns, and boarding houses also are included. In fact, in 2004 nearly 62,000 establishments provided overnight accommodations to suit many different needs and budgets.

Establishments vary greatly in size and in the services they provide. Hotels and motels comprise the majority of establishments and tend to provide more services than other lodging places. There are five basic types of hotels - commercial, resort, residential, extended-stay, and casino. Larger properties offer a variety of services for their guests, including a range of restaurant and beverage service options - from coffee bars and lunch counters to cocktail lounges and formal fine-dining restaurants.

Some properties provide a variety of retail shops on the premises, such as gift boutiques, newsstands, drug and cosmetics counters, and barber and beauty shops. An increasing number of full-service hotels now offer guests access to laundry and valet services, swimming pools, and fitness centers or health spas.

Conventions and business meetings are major sources of revenue for hotels and motels that are specialized (commercial hotels) and have banquet rooms, exhibit halls, and spacious ballrooms to accommodate conventions, business meetings and wedding receptions.

Conference hotels are fully self-contained entities specifically designed for meetings. They provide physical fitness and recreational facilities for meeting attendees, in addition to state-of-the-art audiovisual and technical equipment, a business center, and banquet services.

Resort hotels and motels offer luxurious surroundings with a variety of recreational facilities, such as swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, game rooms, and health spas, as well as planned social activities and entertainment. Resorts typically are located in vacation destinations or near natural settings, such as mountains, the seashore, theme parks, or other attractions. As a result, the business of many resorts fluctuates with the season.

Some resort hotels and motels provide additional convention and conference facilities to encourage customers to combine business with pleasure. During the off season, many of these establishments solicit conventions, sales meetings, and incentive tours to fill their otherwise empty rooms; some resorts even close for the off-season.

Residential hotels provide living quarters for permanent and semi permanent residents. They combine the comfort of apartment living with the convenience of hotel services. Many have dining rooms and restaurants that also are open to residents and to the general public.

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