A motel is a hotel designed for motorists, and usually has a parking area for motor vehicles. The term 'motel' in the United States can be considered somewhat outdated and few motel chains still exist (Motel 6 and Super8 are two of the most popular still in existence). Motels peaked in popularity in the 1960s with rising car travel. In the year 2000, the American Hotel-Motel Association removed 'motel' from its name after considerable market research, and is now the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The association felt that the term 'lodging' more accurately reflects the large variety of different style hotels, including luxury and boutique hotels, suites, inns, budget, and extended stay hotels.
Entering dictionaries after World War II, the word motel, a portmanteau of motor and hotel or motorists' hotel, referred initially to a type of hotel consisting of a single building of connected rooms whose doors faced a parking lot and, in some circumstances, a common area; or a series of small cabins with common parking. As the United States highway system began to develop in the 1920s, long distance road journeys became more common and the need for inexpensive, easily accessible overnight accommodation sited close to the main routes, led to the growth of the motel concept.