The Italian hotel system: accommodation facilities and their functions

For a long time, it was considered that Italy had an anomalous hotel system because the presence of chains was considered almost nothing, the size of the structures limited, and the property system very fragmented. Historically, the Italian hotel accommodation offer has been characterized by a constant renovation process that has led, on the one hand, to the progressive reduction (or slowdown in growth) in the number of structures and, on the other, to the increase in accommodation capacity in terms of the number of rooms and beds. In the last decade, the average size of hotels has gone from about 37 to about 67 beds. In addition, there was a “rebalancing” of the offer towards medium-high quality structures with a reduction in those to 1/2 stars. This process of “concentration” has been more intense in the northern regions than in those of the Central South, but the average size of hotel establishments is still higher in the southern regions, just as the presence of higher category hotels in the Southern regions. In general, the higher qualification of hotel facilities in southern Italy finds its justification in the most recent development of the tourist offer in this area of the country.

From the above data and considerations, the strategy of the sector and its relevance in the Italian economic context is evident. Let’s see, therefore, the main themes on which to continue to work to consolidate growth trends and evolve in line with market needs:

• Digitization: we can no longer think of talking about tourism without talking about digitization. Today everyone, not only young people and very young people, goes on vacation consulting social media. A decade ago, there were 20 million reviews on TripAdvisor, today more than 170 million. This implies the need to customize the offer (tickets for events and events, beaches, rentals, local products, cooking lessons, etc.) and having the target customers very clear, even for small structures;

• Collecting and interpreting industry data: the hotel industry now has ample room for growth. The use of data analysts, social media specialists can make a fundamental contribution to the sector not only to satisfy the user but also to select information for the definition of their offer;

• Programming system and management control: each area of the structure contributes to the final result. Are you able to know which areas (rooms, Food & Beverage, Wellness, …) generate the most profit? This issue does not concern large structures, although from direct experience I can say that this is not always the case, but those of smaller dimensions where there is less awareness. Today, the costs of implementing a management system are relatively modest;

• Hiring the right people and training them: it is clear that working with quality personnel is fundamental, just as it is key to ensuring operational standards through structured training processes. This goal can also be achieved through increasingly widespread outsourcing in other countries; 

• More generally, rethinking the business model: the dynamics that characterize the marketing of hotels have profoundly changed. No one could have imagined that Airbnb would become the largest supplier of rooms in the world and even castles! To overcome the challenges of the next twenty years it is, therefore, necessary to review and rethink how hospitality is made, starting from the theme of “seasonalization”.

 As for luxury hospitality, to improve the competitive capacity of the BelPaese it will be necessary to take a profound renewal intervention aimed above all at improving the quality of the hotel offer, too often attested to quality standards that do not meet the needs of tourists, especially rich and foreign.

Depending on the type of services offered, in Italy there is a classification of accommodation facilities that have 4 categories:

1. Hotel facilities.

2. Non-hotel facilities.

3. Outdoor accommodation facilities.

4. Accommodation facilities of mere support fall within this classification of accommodation facilities, hotels, and all accommodation establishments open to the public that provide accommodation upon payment of guests (with the exception of complimentary rooms), possibly food and other ancillary services, in rooms located in one or more stables.

At the organizational level, moreover, a hotel must always include:

* A lobby.

* A living area.

* Common equipment.

* Heating.

* 7 bedrooms equipped with a bed, 1 chair, lighting, coffee table, wardrobe, bedside table and basket, connection to reception.

* Concierge service at least 12 hours a day.

* Cleaning of housing units.

* Linen change.

* An en suite bathroom with towels, mat, toilet paper, and basket.

* A refreshment point also with a vending machine.

* Toilets intended for common areas distinct by sex.

* Accessibility for the disabled. 

As the name of the agreement suggests, this system is also based on star classification.

Each category of the hotel must meet requirements and provide specific services.

1-star hotel

* Front desk/concierge service at least 12 hours a day.

* The double room must measure at least 14 square meters with a bathroom of 3 square meters.

* The rooms must be cleaned at least once a day.

* Room linen should be changed at least once a week.

2-star hotel

* Front desk service- concierge at least 12 hours a day.

* The double room must measure at least 14 square meters with a minimum bathroom of 3 m.

* Room cleaning must be done at least once a day.

* Linen should be changed at least twice a week.

* Breakfast service.

* Presence of elevator.

3-star hotel

* Front desk- concierge service at least 16 hours a day and knowledge of at least one foreign language.

* Room cleaning must be done once a day.

* The room must measure a minimum of 14 sq m with a minimum bathroom of 3 sq m.

* Linen should be changed at least twice a week.

* There is a bar service with an employee for at least 12 hours.

* Elevator.

* Breakfast service in common areas also intended for other uses.

* Obligation of uniforms for staff.

* Internet service.

* Restaurant room if any.

* Safe in at least 50% of the rooms.

4-star hotel

* Front desk/concierge service insured 16 hours a day.

* Goalkeeper at night.

* Luggage service.

* Bar service 16 hours a day with an attendant.

* Breakfast room service.

* The double room must measure from 15 square meters, bathroom at least 4 square meters.

* Restaurant area, breakfasts, bar + meeting area.

* Knowledge of at least 2 foreign languages spoken by the staff.

* The rooms are cleaned once a day with afternoon tidying up.

* Elevator.

* Daily linen change.

* Bath bathrobe per person, objects, and material of use for personal hygiene, hairdryer.

* Customers’ laundry washing and ironing service.

* Parking for at least 50% of the rooms.

* Divided for staff.

* Each room must be equipped with a safe, satellite TV, mini bar.

5-star hotel

* 24-hour front desk/concierge service and bar.

* Double room of 16 square meters with bathroom of at least 5 square meters.

* Knowledge of 3 foreign languages by the staff.

* Luggage transport.

* Customers’ laundry washing and ironing service.

* Bath bathrobe per person, objects, and material of use for personal hygiene, hairdryer.

* Cleaning the rooms once a day and afternoon tidying up.

* Customers’ laundry washing and ironing service.

A great flaw in this classification is that it is based only on quantitative aspects, the presence or absence of services, and not on qualitative ones oriented towards customer satisfaction, which will guarantee the highest level of protection to the guest.

Sometimes it is preferable a 3-star hotel but well-kept, clean and equipped with the courteous staff!

Based on our choice to spend holidays in other places there are various facilities:

* motel: It is a street hotel designed primarily for motorists with rooms located in a low building and parking directly outside the room. Motels may have few or no services.

* Resort: An independent accommodation facility that offers guests everything they might

And also many others that many of you will already know, but unfortunately many of these structures do not satisfy the wishes of customers and are also at risk of damage, due to seismic volcanic, landslides, and hydrological risks, but there are many projects that contribute to the continuous improvement of accommodation facilities.

So we can define the Italian hotel system as very developed and occupies one of the first places in the world, thanks to the majestic landscapes that Italy offers.

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Cahed Nadia


4°B2 Liceo Linguistico Enrico Medi Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto


My trip in Malta gave me very good feelings! First of all, the school environment was very nice, and the teachers were.  very gentle and

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