Guide to researching the lodging industry


The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the lodging industry. This guide contains several of the key and highly recommended resources when analyzing the industry and researching the companies in the industry. I’ve listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.

The guide starts with resources for performing an industry analysis, but don’t miss the top picks for company analysis further down the page.

For help citing the resources on this page, see the Guide to APA format.


Updated 3/13/17 with local market demand and more, at the bottom of this post.

Information for the 3/14/17 research session with Chad

  1. You will work with your teams during our session.
    • Each team must have at least one laptop, though more laptops the better.
  2.  Open this PDF file that contains sample market research data.
  3. Go to and Enter as Guest
    • You may need to scroll down to see the button to click, as shown in this picture.
    •  You may also need to log out of Tophat if you are unable to enter as guest.


Best Bets for Industry Analysis

The resources in this section are the best bets for analyzing the broad industry.

Encyclopedia of American Industries

If you need to know some history of an industry, the Encyclopedia of American Industries is a great resource.

  • Just search for  “lodging,” “hotels,” etc.  to find some excellent background of the industry.


IbisWorld is a good place to get started for a good overview of several sectors of the U.S. industry.

  • Simply search for “lodging”, “hotels,” etc. to find a number of different relevant reports.
  • Note:  Don’t just rely on one report in IbisWorld.  There will be several reports for industries that operate within the lodging industry.

First Research

First Research also offers broad industry overviews, which compliment the reports from IbisWorld quite nicely. You can find reports on “lodging”, “hotels,” “resorts” and more.

  • Many reports offer much better global coverage than IbisWorld.
  • Reports cover critical issues, business challenges, trends, opportunities, and more.

Plunkett Research

Plunkett Research offers broad industry overviews and statistics.  Browse by industry to the “Restaurant, Hotel, and Hospitality” industry.

  • This is a great tool to get a basic understanding of key issues in the industry without being overwhelmed with too much information.


Passport some excellent market research reports on consumer products in specific countries. Passport is a great tool to use to understand the industry on a domestic and  international level.

  • The best way to search for lodging information is to browse under industries to “Travel” then use the “Search Tree” to browse by product category and country.
  • It is also useful in finding related company profiles, which include strategy of the companies in the industry.   Search for major companies by name in the search box.  (Look for Local Company Profiles or Global Company Profiles under the Analysis filter to find these quickly).
  • Passport also addresses the broad Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends affecting industries. This video shows you how to find information from Passport GMID for your PEST analysis.


Mintel has a excellent market research reports that address the consumer side of the lodging, hotel, motel, and accommodations industry.

  • The market research reports in Mintel cover consumer buying, demand, preferences, market drivers, and other consumer information.
  • Simply use the search option for keywords relating to hotels and travel.
  • Under the “Category Overview” header, you can also browse to the “Travel” Sector to see the full range of market research data.


Statista is great resource to find some extremely useful statistics for you industry. Simply search for “lodging,” “hotels,” etc., or by company or brand to find stats for your project.

  • Tip:  Once you find a useful statistic, look at the “Release” tab on the left side of the page to find the “Source Link,” which will lead you to the original data source and potentially more information you can use.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I’ve listed here last not because it is the least important, but because I would us articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research.

  • You will find Industry Profiles and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports. Search for ”lodging” or “hotels”.
  • Look for trade publications such as Hotel Management and Lodging Hospitality for excellent information written by people who are embedded in the industry.

SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies in the industry contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more. Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report. You will notice that the companies use some of the similar language found in reports like IBISWorld and others.

Top Picks for Company Analysis

The following resources are particularly useful when analyzing specific companies in the industry.

Mergent Online

Mergent Online should be your first place to look for company information.

  1. Search for your company, and look at the Company Financials tab.  You can download up to 30 years of as-reported financial information for public companies.
  2. Search for your company, and look at the Competitors tab to analyze the competition.
  3. Search for your company, and look at the Reports Tab.  Click on Equity Reports to get a stock report for your company and a few of its competitors.
  4. Search for your company, and look at the Horizon tab to understand suppliers and customer relationships.
  5. On the search menu, click the Investext Snapshot tab. Search for your company to find up to three stock reports about your company.

This video demonstrates how to find the most-essential information quickly in Mergent Online.


Investext is a tab located within Mergent Online, linked above.

  • Investext contains analyst, stock, and brokerage reports for industries and companies.
  • A suggested search strategy for the lodging industry is to click on the Investext tab in  Mergent Online, then search for one of the leading companies.  This will find both company and industry reports.


OneSource is another fantastic resource for both company and industry information.

Hoover’s Online

Hoover’s Online has great company and industry information.

  • Use the Company tab to search for a particular company to find company financials, competitors, company news, and more.
  • Use the Industry Tab to search for your industry terms to find some excellent industry reports. The industry data comes from First Research, which is the same information found via the First Research interface.

S&P Net Advantage

S&P NetAdvantage is  also a great tool for researching companies.

  • It has stock reports and company financials for major companies.
  • The Compustat Excel Analytics are great when analyzing companies. This video shows you how to find them.
  • Also look for the industry survey for “Hotels, Restaurants, and Leisure.”


Privco is an excellent resource to use when trying to find information about privately held companies.

  • Use it to search for information about AirBNB and other private companies in the industry.


Factiva is a great resource for looking for news about companies in the industry.


In LexisNexis, use the “Get Company Information” search box to search for company information.

  • In addition to company financial information, you will find company news, company organization and subsidiary information, and company legal/lawsuit information.


Best Bets for Understanding Consumers and the Local Market

The resources below are essential in understanding consumers and your local market.


Simmons OneView


  • SimplyMap can help you understand how many people in your market area use a particular product or service.
  • It’s also an easy way to gather demographics about your local market.
  • For this topic, you can find what percentage,or number, of people in a particular geographic area eat at a certain type of restaurant.
  • See this guide for help citing SimplyMap.
  • I have quite few videos that demonstrate various ways to use SimplyMap.  You can adapt the techniques to the lodging industry.

Census QuickFacts

  • Census QuickFacts provides easy access to some of the most-used economic and social statistics.
  • The QuickFacts are an easier way to get to census information than American Factfinder.
  • You will want to use census data to compare how your local market demographics align with the more general national demographics of a consumer market (like what you find in Simmons, Mintel, and Passport,above).


Mergent Intellect


“Hotel” image available via Creative Commons from Free For COmmercial USe

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