England is a country rich in historical architecture, with numerous buildings that predate the European settlement of America. The country was at the forefront of culture and exploration for many centuries, though as the world has evolved, there are some things that have been slower to develop in the United Kingdom. One example is Tourism – hotels did not really begin to crop up in London until the mid 1800s.
London is one of the most important parts of England, for both social life and business. A few hundred years ago, most of the real estate in London was occupied by housing. Even those who did not live there all year round would have a home there for when they visited to trade. The less well off would rent a room from a resident, or stay at a coaching inn when they were passing through the city. These were simply rooms above pubs, reserved for travelers passing through by coach. Hotels, as we know them, did not exist.
The Rail Revolution
While in America, the development of a rail system created entire towns, the rise of the railroads in England made London a more viable place to go for short trips. In order to generate revenue for visitors, railroads took a cue from the coaching inns and built modern hotels in London near their terminals, similar to how you can always find a few hotels near an airport today and easily available airport transfers milton keynes. In the decades after the 1860s, England would see some of its most famous hotels, such as the Savoy and the Ritz, built.
The World Wars
The biggest boom to the hotel industry came during the 1900s – at the beginning of the century, travel was becoming easier to working class people in England to afford, and international travel was enjoying an increase too. The landowning classes were seeing declining fortunes, and many of them gave up their homes in London.
After World War II, the country entered a period of rebuilding, but by the 1970s, hotel construction started again, as the newly affordable air travel made London an important hub for travel to other parts of the world. By the end of the century, many older office buildings were converted to hotels, and tourism was at an all time high. London has everything from five star hotels to short stay ‘airpot hotels’ and quaint lodgings in converted Victorian homes. Next time you stay in London, stop and think of how recent the rise in tourism is compared to the grand history of the country and city.