Holidays (aka 'Tourism') are produced by building Holiday Hotels. These can only be built in areas suitable for Holiday production, which appear in green on your respective Resource layer (much like Arable land or Water), but which are not treated exactly in the same way.
Holiday resource area
A Holiday resource area is basically an area in your city landscape that would attract tourists. These areas can include natural features, like a beautiful beach or mountain, or a man-made marvel, like a Megastructure. The first type appears predefined on the map, like Fuel, Water and Arable land, while the second can be created in any city via the accumulation of Landmark effects and good quality of life in an area. It is also important to note that the Holiday areas can be destroyed, if the quality of life drops sufficiently. Also, the natural Holiday zones have a higher starting value of quality of life than general. So, while the Holiday resource area is mostly predefined on the map, it is also possible to create it via construction and maintaining good conditions in an area.
Building Holiday Hotels
When a Holiday Hotel is built in a Holiday Zone, the resource area around the Hotel is reduced. Depending on the size of the Holiday Hotel, this effect may vary from barely noticeable, to the area around it becoming completely unfit for other hotels. This mechanic is a little different than Fuel and Water, where basic buildings immediately 'destroy' the area around them - here a single hotel might leave space for more, if the quality of the zone was high enough in the start.
Air Pollution is the biggest problem for holiday hotels - it lower their profits, and might even prevent them from being built by destroying the Holiday areas. It is advisable to keep these hotels out of areas with Pollution. You can do little when it comes to Air pollution (Heavy Industry and Manufacturing Industry pollute not only locally, but also citywide, so even if you stick them at the other end of the map your Hotels will suffer), unless you prevent it altogether by not building polluting buildings. Noise pollution is more commonly a problem: Airports, Windmill Fields, and busy streets, as well as Sport Leisure buildings, emit Noise Pollution for certain radii, lowering Quality of life, even in the 'cleanest' cities. Try to keep these away from your Holiday zones.
There is a slightly profitable (more profitable if you include trade) way to use the largest Holiday Hotels and the Big Park for Avatars to provide a massive amount of tokens. The best Holiday Hotel makes more money than a Big Avatar Park costs and with the new patch, it is now possible to place twice as many profitable holiday hotels per park. Landmarks and MegaStructures work also but they are too expensive if you are using them for the sole purpose of holidays. If you remove the Avatar Parks, your hotels might go bankrupt (thus not producing anything anymore).
Executives and Elites go on a lot of vacations, while the lower classes hardly use Holiday Tokens. Executives require Holidays and Elites require quite a few Holiday Tokens. It is best to have a neutral token balance of Holidays or even slightly positive because extra Holiday tokens increase general satisfaction, while deficits take a huge chunk out of it.
Types of Holiday Hotels
There are many models of hotels, which differ in size and production capabilities. Most of them employ Unskilled and Skilled Workers, with the biggest ones also employing Executives and some Elites . The size of the hotel also determines how much of a Holiday resource area it will need and consume.
- Small Luxury Hotels - the starting small hotels. Nice atmosphere, few high-quality rooms.
- Prestigious Motels and Hotels - medium-sized hotels. High quality, medium number of rooms.
- Two star Hotel - medium size, lots of low quality rooms.
- Four star Hotel - medium size, medium number of good quality rooms.
- Five star Hotel - large hotels with many high quality rooms.
- Large prestigious Hotels - the pinnacle in Hotel business, they offer many luxurious rooms.
- Elite apartment complexes - despite the name, they are also Holiday Hotels, offering many luxurious rooms. One of them is modeled after the famous Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.
The category also includes two Landmarks, which unlock at 250,000 population, and add 1 bonus Holiday token:
Here is a list with interesting facts on Holiday Hotels, written by RBBoT.
- The "quality" of the rooms is just description and has no effect on game mechanics / tax revenue / tokens created. A large motel and a large luxury hotel are identical except in appearance.
- Hotels reduce the Satisfaction of people living nearby. The radius of effect varies between about 1 and 3 small building widths depending on the hotel size. Except for the "pack" holiday hotels, the effect is the same on all 4 levels of people - the pack hotels upset execs/elites more.
- Not all business hotels have the same level of dependency on passengers. Larger hotels require more passengers than smaller. However the Hi-Tech hotel has a very low demand and the Shanghai Peace Hotel none at all.
- All Hotels are affected by either poor environment or directly by air pollution, normally in proportion to their size. Holiday hotels receive far greater penalties, except for the Chinatown, Medieval & Seaside hotels which are unaffected by bad environment. These three also produce more than double the maximum tax income of other holiday hotels.
- Most Holiday Hotels consume the same amount of holiday area on the map. However, Small hotels produce 10% of a token, 5-star/large prestige/beach hotels 40% and all others 20%. Since beach hotels produce no tax income you should build exclusively 5-star/large prestige hotels to maximize production from the available land.
- The Copacabana Palace Hotel and San Francisco Grand Hotel landmark hotels produce 1 token, but consume double the normal hotel radius. Depending on the shape of the holiday area you place them in this means they could be worse performing than normal putty several 5 star hotels in the space. It's best to put them at the end of a peninsula of holiday land. These hotels also have environment sensitivity of a small hotel. The San Francisco Grand Hotel will produce far more direct tax revenue but this is partially offset by the fact it employs 18 fewer staff so has less indirect income tax revenue.
- The Shanghai Peace Hotel is one of the best buildings in the game - a landmark that earns money instead of costing upkeep and gives an office production bonus - what's not to like?"