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Hospitality Industry: Restaurants, Hotels, & Lodging Resource Guide

The Industries Today

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. The Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant, completed in 1909 and named for the legendary Appachian pathfinder, in Berea, Kentucky. 2020. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This part of the guide is intended as a starting point for those who need to understand the hospitality industry today.

This guide is focusing primarily on sit-down, fast-casual, fast food restaurants, hotels, and motels, and not food trucks, campgrounds, or RV parks. It does not focus on the newer technologies that facilitate transactions like delivery services like GrubHub and UberEats or online vacation rental services like Airbnb, VRBO, and other short term rental (STR) companies. These online services have already become such a major part of the travel lodging industry that they have had a major impact on the residential rental sector and cities have begun to regulate them more. Discussions about trends like ;Airbnbust and differences in what happens in different places and in difference situations, will happen in trade literature and general news publications. Researching these business may be best done using market research reports and full-text databases. Additionally, look for reports and studies from specialty firms like AirDNA that looks at companies like Airbnb and VRBO.

For those doing research about the current state of an industry, articles in trade literature and newspapers will be an important aspect of the research process as that is where new trends and issues will show up first. We have included a number of databases that the Library subscribes to in another part of this guide, but check your local university or public library for additional access to databases. The two guides listed below can be helpful when looking for more sources and strategies.