Literacy > Lodging Glossary > Guesthouse

Guesthouse

A guesthouse refers to a lodging establishment that offers rooms at an affordable price by minimizing provided services while sharing facilities such as bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Due to the low price, it is favored by those who need affordable accommodation, such as backpackers.
Dictionary Definition
In the UK, it refers to a small, inexpensive lodging property, while in the US, it refers to a small house adjacent to a main house where invited guests stay.
Lobin Commentary

The term guesthouse is not defined by law and is used in the lodging market as a general term for lodging establishments that operate in a specific manner. However, because there are no separate facility and registration standards, the facility composition and operation systems differ by country.

Generally, guesthouses appear in two types. The first type operates as a dedicated lodging establishment without residents, similar to a hotel but at a cheaper price. The second type offers spare rooms in a residence, where a resident lives, at a low price. In the second case, it is common for the areas used by the resident and the travelers to be separated.

The reason guesthouses are offered at low prices is that costs are minimized by minimizing services. Typical examples include providing multiple beds in one room in the form of bunk beds (stacked twin beds) to share the room or installing bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, etc., as shared facilities instead of in each room. Additionally, in most cases, there are no separate amenities.

Due to the low price, guesthouses are a type of lodging establishment favored by those who need affordable accommodation, such as backpackers. Therefore, the proportion of foreign demand is relatively high, and in Korea, ‘urban minbak’ has the most similar characteristics. In fact, the name of urban minbak often includes guesthouse, or they are classified and distributed as guesthouses in distribution channels.

However, the inclusion of guesthouse in the name of the establishment or classification and distribution as a guesthouse in distribution channels does not necessarily mean it is an urban minbak. The proportion of urban minbak in the supply of lodging establishments in Korea is minimal, and there are no legal restrictions on using the name guesthouse. In reality, the majority of lodging establishments that include guesthouse in their name or are classified and distributed as guesthouses in distribution channels are residential lodging.

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Data Source

  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Establishments: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

Data Source

  • Population: Population, Total (World Bank Open Data)
  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

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Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • USA: Census Database (STR)
  • Period: As at the end of 2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Life cycle was calculated as of December 31, 2021 or actual closure date. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST), Economic Census (KOSIS), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA), DART (FSS), Trends Report (STR)
  • USA: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR), Trends Report (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Visibility was calculated as the number of establishments for which revenue data is available divided by the total number of establishments. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Guests(Korea): Domestic Traveler Survey (MCST), International Traveler Survey (MCST), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA)
  • Rooms(Korea): Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • Guests(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Trends Report (STR)
  • Rooms(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2020

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.