Study of Shanghai Hotel Industry in the1930S
|Course||Modern Chinese History|
|Keywords||1930s Shanghai Hotel|
As a place of rest for the guests, the hotel industry has also been present in China for hundreds of years. However, the hotel of truly modern sense did not emerge until the late Qing dynasty when the treaty ports were open. Shanghai is one of the first cities where the high-level hotels with a variety of types, diversified operations, diversified services, and complete functions are located.In different periods of history, even if it is the same industry, it often shows different operating management features, so did the Shanghai hotel industry in the1930s. This period is an important stage of the transition of the hotel industry from the ancient inn industry to the modern hotel industry. On the one hand, the hotel industry, in terms of its operation add management level, inherited the traditiona Chinese experience; on the one hand, it introduced many foreign elements, showing the traditional and modern characteristics.As the westernization and consumerism were spreading widely in Shanghai in the1930s, the variety of recreation services provided by the new hotels, far more than the traditional accommodation services, created the unique consumer culture of the unique hotels in Shanghai. The hotel industry turned into a comprehensive consumer and entertainment organization concerning personal life, city development and local prosperity, as well as a place filled with a variety of insider stories and evils. Shanghai Hotel Association and Shanghai Municipal Government, as the manager and controller, are jointly making attempts to standardize the hotels in Shanghai.According to the first-hand information from Shanghai Municipal Archives, this paper takes into consideration the existing research results to attempt to reveal the functions of the hotel operator as the owner of the hotel, the citizen as the consumer and the association and the government as the manager and controller as well as the relationship between each other. This paper argues that, on the one hand, the prosperity of Shanghai in the1930s relied on the development of the hotel industry in the same period, and Shanghai hotel industry also had a considerate degree of modern features; on the other hand, Shanghai’s urban consumer culture of luxury and dissipation was interacted with the new modern hotel industry, and the hotel offered more entertainment and enjoyment than traditional accommodation services, stimulating and increasing Shanghai citizens’ daily life consumption, which has become one important driving force of development of Shanghai. Shanghai Hotel Association and Shanghai Municipal Government, as a third party, were making every effort to maintain the environment of the industry and define the rules of industrial competition, trying to control the healthy development of this industry. In fact, although such efforts and attempts appear to be effective, it is the interaction with the third party that jointly created the unique hotel industry of Shanghai in the1930s.