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Tourism and Travel: A Research Guide

Tourism and travel have undergone tremendous growth and diversification to become a major force in the international economy. This guide provides access to resources for those just starting to research these industries.


Richard Halls, artist. See America. Welcome to Montana. 1938. Work Projects Administration Poster Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Tourism and travel have undergone tremendous growth and diversification to become a major force in the international economy. Many developing countries have increased their presence in the market, particularly as travelers have expanded beyond the more traditional destinations in order to seek out new places and experiences.

The intent of this guide is to provide resources for those interested in researching current tourism and travel industry and trends, though a few historical resources have been included for perspective. We have also tried to include resources that provide data and information that will help researchers develop their own market profile. We have also covered a few specific areas that are frequently discussed; however, this guide does not attempt to go into all sectors of the tourism and travel industry.

We have not included resources related to some emerging trends such as disaster/dark tourism and overtourism because these topics can change and may not have many resources devoted specifically to them beyond articles in trade publication or chapters in books. We have included a few resources related to the airline industry (we have a guide on Commercial Aviation that covers the airlines) and other transportation modes that are used to travel and whose business is closely tied to tourism, but this guide does not focus on transportation. Lastly, this guide does not focus on larger world events that heavily impact the industry like recessions or a large scale health crisis like COVID-19; but news and trade publications should be a good sources for information on how those particular events affect the industry.

For further research on the travel and tourism industries, you can use our Doing Industry Research guide for more information on search strategies and using SIC/NAICS codes in industry research, and you can use our Doing Company Research guide for researching individual companies.

Gallery of Posters: Work Projects Administration Poster Collection

About the Business Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.