What are Sectors of Tourism? Accommodation, Transportation, Intermediaries

  • Post last modified:28 August 2021
  • Reading time:15 mins read
  • Post category:Tourism

What are Sectors of Tourism?

Tourism is an economic, environmental, and socio-cultural phenomenon. It reaches various sectors of the economy and society and it involves many different forms, such as leisure tourism, sports tourism, cultural tourism, business tourism, conference, and exhibition tourism, tourism for religious reasons, and Eco-tourism.

The broad nature of tourism makes it quite difficult to be defined and there is no universally accepted definition of it As tourism development has both positive and negative effects on the tourist location, the study will also discuss what are the factors reducing the positive effects of tourism and then what strategies should be adopted in order to reduce the negative effects and maximize the positive.

Sectors of Tourism

These are some various sectors of the tourism industry:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Transportation
  3. Intermediaries


Accommodation is a temporary home for travelers. It ranges from simple sleeping places to deluxe suites for eating, entertainment, and sleeping. Travelers can stay overnight in any kind of lodging from an African treehouse to a castle in Europe.

The accommodation industry is made up of hotels, motels (motor hotels), resort hotels, campgrounds, hostels, and guesthouses. Hotels are classified in various ways. One of the most common ways is by location, such as resort, city center, airport, suburban, or highway.

Types of Hotels:

  1. Resort Hotel
  2. Airport Hotel
  3. Bed & Breakfast (B&B)

Resort Hotel

A resort hotel can be considered as a destination itself. It offers a full range of services and amenities for the guests to enjoy their vacations within the property. Typical features of a resort hotel include restaurants, shops, sporting facilities, pools, spas, casinos, and even private beaches.

Examples: 1. Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel, 2. Mission Hills Resort Shenzhen in China.

Airport Hotel

Airport hotels are located in or near airports. This type of accommodation is selected by travelers for necessity. A major feature of airport properties is convenient for early morning departures or late evening arrivals. It is mainly for airline crew members and passengers with overnight layovers r canceled flights.

Example: Hong Kong Regal Airport Hotel.

Bed & Breakfast (B&B)

B&B is a guest house or private house providing clean, attractive accommodation and breakfast. The B&Bs offer a home-like atmosphere. The owner of the B&B usually lives on the premises and provides all the necessary labor. Community breakfasts with other lodgers and hosts enhance this atmosphere.

The other way of classification is rating (grading), for example, five-star, four-star, three-star, two-star hotels. This grading system is commonly used in China.

Types of Transportation

There are a number of different types of transportation modes: air, water, road and rail. The various types of transport modes can be subdivided into:

  1. Transport by Air
  2. Transport by Sea or Water
  3. Road Transport
  4. Rail Transport

Transport by Air

Air Transport First-class travelers enjoy the privacy of their own private cabin area with seats that can be converted into 6’6″ flatbeds. Plenty of good food, in-flight entertainment, and a personal video screen is provided.

They are also welcome to use the arrivals lounge. Business-class travelers have wide comfortable seats with plenty of legroom. They can also enjoy good food, free drinks, and complimentary newspapers. Economy-class travelers though have narrower seats, still are provided with suitable services and meals.

In general, most of the airlines provide different classes on board; they are first, business and economy class. Some airlines nowadays introduced ‘premium economy class’. This class of service offers better individual service (e.g. more comfortable seat) to passengers at a lower price comparing with business-class service.

Transport by Sea or Water

What is a cruise? A cruise is a vacation trip by ship. This definition excludes traveling by water for primarily transportation purposes. It offers the passengers a chance to relax in comfortable surroundings, with attentive service, good food, and a liner that changes the scenery from time to time.

Despite the potential positive impact of cruise tourism to the local economy, there is also a danger the local tourism industry faces is that cruise tourism can displace other forms of tourism as hotels and tours fill with cruise passengers, reducing the capacity for other tourists.

Cruise ships are basically self-contained destinations where guests live, eat, are entertained, and travel. Cruises are voyages taken for pleasure and not only for the purpose of transport. Most cruises start and end at the same port. A cruise with all-inclusive fare nowadays may combine:

Transportation costs such as airfare between cruise passengers’ point of origin and the destination port. Sometimes the cost of accommodation at the destination port is included in the all-inclusive fare.

Road Transport

Traveling by road is the most flexible and economical form of mass transportation. Modern motorway networks have made major cities easily accessible.

Coach Services

  1. Local Service.

  2. Regional – between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

  3. International express services – services between Canada and United States in North America.

  4. Tour and sightseeing operations.

  5. Shuttle buses for airport transfers.

Car Services

Car travelers have greater freedom in choosing their route, destination, and timing of their journey. Examples are Private cars for rental, Taxis, Private cars.

Car Rental

Business and vacation travelers book car rentals for different reasons. Business travelers are looking for a convenient and reliable form of ground transportation to get them from point A to point B with the minimum amount of fuss and bother.

Vacation travelers are looking for a comfortable form of transportation to places where they plan to visit but these places are not easily accessible by public transportation.

Rail Transport

The importance of rail travel has given way to private cars and air travel, but is picking up now since a number of services have been designed specifically for the tourist trade on a local and international level.

Examples include “Orient Express” in Europe and “Indian-Pacific” across Australia. Others include the “Trans-Siberian Railway” and the “Bullet Train” of Japan.

Examples of Other Rail Transport: Underground train services in a most urban city, Airport express train service; and Scenic rails.

One of the world’s eminent traveling experiences is to travel on a luxury train. Traversing the world’s varied landscapes along alternative train routes, the train combines all the comfort and luxury of a five-star hotel with a globally unparalleled journey.

Intermediaries in Tourism

Intermediaries are “Middle-Men”, acting as a link between the customer and the supplier. In the travel business, the suppliers consist of airlines, cruise and ferry companies, coach/bus companies, railways, hotels and motels, and car rental agencies.

The customers include holidaymakers, business travelers, and those visiting friends and relatives.

Tourism and the Structure of the Tourism Industry Travel agencies, in their role as “middlemen,” combine tourism activities originally carried out on an unconnected, individual basis, linking customers with tourism service suppliers and thereby promoting the development of the tourism industry.

Tourism service suppliers include airlines, hotels, restaurants, car hire companies, and companies that operate reception services at destinations.

Types of Intermediaries

Types of Intermediaries are chiefly divided into two categories:

  1. Travel Agencies
  2. Tour Operators

Travel Agencies

Appointed representatives such as tourism service suppliers or wholesalers are authorized to sell customers a series of tourism-related products and services such as airline tickets, cruise liner berths, hotel rooms, car rentals, and train tickets, etc.

Their role is to provide guests with relevant tourism consultant services, book travel products on behalf of customers, and provide special services for customers in accordance with their needs, etc. Their income is mainly derived from agency commissions.

  • Wholesalers.
  • Retailers.
  • Inbound travel agencies/outbound travel agencies.

Tour Operators

Wholesalers buy large volumes of products at a relatively low price from tourism service suppliers such as transport companies, hotels, and tourist attractions, and then sell them to tourism retailers that then sell to the retail market.

They won’t normally sell travel products directly to the general public. However, some powerful travel agencies will also establish retail departments to sell these products directly to customers.

There are also some wholesalers that are operated by a number of airlines and chain hotels and promote package tours put together from their own products.

Retailers order large volumes of various different types of travel products from tourism service suppliers or wholesalers such as transport companies, hotel, and tourist attraction products and services, then design and combine these individual products and add in their own services such as tour guide services, etc., turning them into packaged travel products, which are then sold to customers.

Outbound tour groups will take locals to another city or country and provide travel products such as transport, accommodation, and tickets to tourist attractions. Generally speaking.

This type of intermediary will regularly organize groups to take people from Hong Kong all over the world, wherein they will be accompanied by a group leader or tour guide from the very start.

Corporate client travel agencies

Sightseeing tour companies

Merits of using Intermediaries (Travel Agency)

Leave a Reply