Traveling and Hotels

Traveling and hotels

Throughout the centuries, hotels have been essential links between places. They have served as places of public assembly, business exchanges, and decorative showcases. They have also played an important role in domestic and international politics.

In the nineteenth century, American hotels were predicated on the long-distance transportation of goods and passengers. This transport network was reordered by the emergence of the automobile and the railroad. The rapid growth of these new transportation modes greatly increased the volume of travel in America. This paved the way for a new hotel age.

In the 1860s, hotels appeared in the mountain West and in Pacific coast settlements. Urban merchant-capitalists constructed a new generation of hotels along leading commercial centers and coastal trade routes. They were built to accommodate a rising tide of tourists.

The hotel industry grew exponentially after World War II. The postwar economic boom sent incomes skyrocketing and commercial travel to record levels. As a result, the hotel industry was a major domestic political battleground. Often, political factions would set up headquarters in hotels. These hotels were the site of speeches and toasts by political figures. They were also often attacked during domestic strife.

The hotel industry began to transform into a large national industry. American-owned hotels became a symbol of the nation’s empire. They also served as exemplary examples of capitalism in foreign countries. During the postwar years, millions of Americans ventured abroad in increasing numbers. They paid for their hotel accommodations with cash or through credit cards. These advances in the travel industry made it possible for millions of workers to afford to take paid vacations.

The first generation of hotels consisted of large, luxury establishments. These hotels were typically located in the middle of a city and incorporated parking facilities. During the early part of the twentieth century, motor hotels emerged. They were sited on inexpensive land and were often located along road systems or track lines.

In the early twentieth century, the arrival of railroads and the canal system greatly expanded the volume of travel in America. These developments in the railroad industry and automobility wrought a series of significant changes in the hotel industry. The rapid growth of railways freed up long-distance travel from the river system and reconfigured the nation’s transportation network. This revolution in transportation catalyzed the construction of a third generation of hotels. These hotels provided rest and dining venues for travelers before sleeping cars.

The hotel industry’s popularity during the late 1800s grew in tandem with the rise of organized labor. The success of this labor movement greatly improved the standard of living of millions of workers and made it possible for millions of people to enjoy paid vacations.

During the early years of the twentieth century, the hotel industry became a focal point of the nation’s political struggles. Political figures often hobnobbed in hotel lobbies and raised toasts in crowded halls. They were also the sites of important public forums, where political leaders gave speeches and raised political issues.