The hotel industry is really born with the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution (1800 – 1914) is a century of fundamental historical break. It is the period of industrialization of societies and economies, invention and mechanization of many modes of transport (energy control, steam engine, railways, urban transport, air transport), exodus massive populations mostly rural and poor to cities then growing in the Western world or on ships crossing the ocean to the North American lands still almost virgin, reputed to colonize. It is the time of the “Anthropocene”, the human species becoming a planetary geophysical force (Crutzen, 2007). The Tourism Revolution was born with the industrial revolution (and not “de”). It is a counterculture of distinction, the aristocracy creates manners that distinguish it in this period of revolutionary novelties (Boyer, 2005). Leisure industries related to tourism appear later in France than in Great Britain. The English model of the mundane season in “bathing”, spas, extends from the last third of the eighteenth century to the shores of the English coast and the continent (Toulier, 2004). It is at this time that the first seaside resorts are created on all the coastlines, which “copies follow on the continent”, from the Baltic to the Bay of Biscay (Corbin, 1988). Ramsgate and Hastings (Devonshire), Blackpool (Lancashire), Biarritz, Potbus (Rügen Island), Cuxhaven (Hamburg), Dieppe, Ostend, etc., all are born.

In 1832 there is still only one inn in Trouville. Accommodation becomes a central issue in the development of tourist sites. The novelty comes again from England with the construction of the first hotels. From the end of the 18th century, vast establishments were built in the big cities of Europe. They are equipped with “comfort”, word written in English. These are the first hotels that almost all have a British reference: Hotel d’Angleterre, London, Albion (Boyer, 1999). Each traveler has a room, a pitcher of water and a hygienic bucket; the bidet is a French innovation of the eighteenth, badly connoted. The new hotel no longer settles at the entrance of cities, like the old inns; it is built in the heart of the cities, where is the worldly life, often close to the Opera or Theater, new buildings characteristic of the sumptuary town planning of the late eighteenth and nineteenth. The internal layout of the hotels reproduces the functional separation of the bourgeois lodgings: on the one hand the private rooms (rooms), on the other, the distinct spaces of services occupy the least well-situated parts. The reception rows extended by the staircase benefit from the most beautiful fittings (Boyer, 1999).

Mobility is accelerating. They benefit from the first technological innovations. The Fardier de Cugnot, in 1770, is the ancestor of both the truck, the locomotive and the automo-bile. The years pass quickly and in a few decades, transport knows the most formidable revolution, that which will allow men, as goods, to go at a speed hitherto unknown and unprecedented regularity. In 1833, George Stephenson’s locomotive is an example. Transport transports passengers in full steam. It is soon less than a day to go from Lyon to Paris. In 1873, L’Obéissante d’Amédée Bollée was born, the first machine to join Le Mans from Paris, at a speed of 20km / h. Urban transport is organized, machinery is progressing, speed is accelerating. The first private transport companies are created. The engines are reliable, the electricity begins to light the streets of large cities. We can see more clearly. The first railway networks appear. Rail transport and the hotel industry have a community of destinies. We can even say that the hotel revolution comes from trains! Napoleon III encouraged Emile and Isaac Pereire to found the Real Estate Company of the hotels and buildings of the rue de Rivoli, on the model of what is already practiced in England. This is a first in France, contemporary of Haussmannian works in the capital. The Pereire Brothers are embarking on the construction of a modern hotel in the extension of the rue de Rivoli. Work began in August 1854 for an opening first planned in May 1855 and delayed. The first general assembly report of September 1855 states that “this vast construction responds to the new needs created by the incessant increase in the floating population brought to Paris by the increasingly extensive network of railways ( …) The success of similar companies in Germany and the United States has given us the conviction that this would be a fruitful operation “(Lefèvre, 2011). In the same logic is inaugurated “The big hotel” in the district of the Opera in 1862, under the direction of the architect Armand and financed by Émile Pereire and Credit furniture. The shareholders are motivated by the “extension of the rail network, both in France and beyond our borders, where they blend with our lines” which “attracts to Paris a growing number of travelers and makes more and more necessary the creation of large furnished houses, offering all kinds of comfortable. The first hotels come out of the ground, like the “Terminus Hotel” built in front of the Saint-Lazare station for the Compagnie de l’Ouest (Lefèvre, 2011). A kind of frenzy is associated with the emergence of a true “international travel” that travels throughout Europe in search of recognition, but also in search of knowledge, looking for events. In the eighteenth-century classical Grand Tour, very elite and socially homogeneous (the European aristocracy of northern Europe), a new Grand Tour in the nineteenth century replaces, just as elite but based on a social, political and cultural geography. and more extensive economics. This reflects the desire for cosmopolitan sociability and the structuration of spaces clearly delineating the areas of homelessness, presence, encounter and cohabitation. The hotel becomes the rallying point (Tissot, 2007).

Despite major initial investments, we still deplore the French backlog in hotels. The first edition by Adolphe Joanne, in 1861, of the “General Route of France”, prototype of the rail travel guides describes a situation of deplorable accommodation in the French regions. “In some township capitals, which I will be able to name, in most district capitals, radical reforms are becoming more and more urgent. The greater part of France remains closed, for lack of suitable hotels, to the women who would like to visit it. It would be necessary to demolish everything to rebuild, and again the result would leave something to be desired “(Berto-Lavenir, 1999). Railway companies create hotels in places where travelers go. The large railway stops are thus equipped with palaces with impressive architecture and impeccable service, often provided by professionals from Switzerland or trained at the English school (Berto-Lavenir, 1999). In 1880, some travel guides tried in France as in all of the first truly tourist countries to put order in this “nebula” of accommodation and hotels that see the day. In Switzerland, hotels are organized according to specific indicators of their own: price, location or comfort. Travel agencies do the same before they are relayed by development agencies that are starting to proliferate (Tissot, 2007).

It is at this time that some small towns – even villages – of the provinces will become real tourist resorts and equip themselves with hotel infrastructures worthy of the big cities. Railway companies whose lines pass through mountain regions are becoming aware of new demands. It is an “open” rail destination, the operating companies have hotels built in resorts to accommodate tourists. The railway company from Paris to Orleans, the PO, builds hotels in Vic-sur-Cère and Lioran in Cantal. The posters also magnify the landscapes crossed (Blancheton, Marchi, 2011). It is the time of spas that flourish on the territory. From 1856, Napoleon III spent eleven seasons in three cities of different waters: Plombières, Saint-Sauveur and Vichy (Toulier, 2004). In Eaux-Bonnes, in the Pyrenees, the Hotel des Princes, in red brick and freestone, welcomes Princess Eugenie who comes to taste the virtues of the waters of Valentine, a stream that flows into the Gave of Ossau (Razemon , 2012). Hotels are built to accommodate a posh clientele. Sarah Bernhardt, Rosa Bonheur, the President of the Republic Jules Grévy or Ismaïl Pasha, Khedive of Egypt stay in the station. The painter Eugène Delacroix complains of the crowd no doubt attracted by the construction of a casino in 1873.

Finally, there are major social and festive events that also bring about radical changes in social organization, and thus mobility and accommodation needs, and allow these processes to accelerate in the cities and then between the cities. The universal expositions of Paris of 1889 and 1900 let the imaginary defy the laws of physics and sometimes of reason. Some dream of underground transport, others of moving sidewalks called the “streets of the future” suspended above the broad Haussmanian arteries of the Second Empire. The construction of the metropolitan is launched at the turn of the century, while Paris imagines a necessarily bright future. It is the Belle Epoque, that of the beginning of the displacements of leisures. Fifty million visitors are welcomed in Paris. This is the beginning of a phenomenon of centripetal movement of the hotel industry. When the number of tourists increases, other more modest hotels, then boarding houses settle near the largest ones. Some hotels become “palaces”, a term that appeared in Switzerland in 1884 with the construction of the Palace Hotel in Maloja, but the first of the list is the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, opened in 1834. In 1899, out of thirty-three hotels listed in the Swiss city by the Swiss Trade Directory, seven (more than 20%), can be classified under the heading of luxury hotels: the Hotel d’Angleterre, the Hotel Beau-Rivage, the Hôtel des Bergues, Geneva Ecu Hotel, Hôtel de la Métropole, National Hotel and Hôtel du Lac (Tissot, 2007). They are able to accommodate tourists for long stays. At the end of the nineteenth century, “palaces” even take the place of furnished in spas and seaside resorts and in the Midi (Boyer, 2005).