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MKT 385: Services Marketing: Hotel Industry Analysis

This guide is to assist those students enrolled in MKT 385 Services Marketing.

Start with the Government

I usually recommend when doing industry research that you start by finding out what classification number the U.S. Government has assigned to that industry. They collect a lot of data about industries and make it available for free to everyone.


  • North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)  
    This is the classification system used by the U.S. Government. Use the Search box for the 2017 NAICS on the left to enter in a keyword or two about your industry to find out how they classify it. You will get anywhere from a two-digit (very general) to a six-digit (very specific) classification number. Write this number down. You can use it to search other government sites and business databases to find info on your industry!
  •   U.S. Economic Census
    The Economic Census is taken every 5 years in years that end in 2 and 7. The most recent census with data available is from 2017. Some top-level data is available now and data will continue to be rolled out over the next few years. This will give you the number of establishments, the value of sales, annual payroll, and number of employees for broad sectors of the U.S. economy. Note that several of the columns report the data in $1,000 of dollars, so you'll need to add 3 zeroes to the end of the number to get the actual dollar value.

Industry Statistics

Industry Associations

Trade or industry associations are a great source for information on an industry. Sometimes they have free information available. Other times it is restricted to members of that organization.

Business Insights: Essentials

To search for trade associations, go to the Advanced Search page. Instead of Keyword search, select Association from the pull-down menu. Search by Association Name, Description, NAICS, SIC, State or Country.


Search terms

In addition to the name of the industry (ex: hotel OR hospitality OR lodging), other terms that I like to use in searches for industry information include:

  • Trends
  • Research
  • Statistics OR Data
  • Consumer
  • Specific areas of the business that I want to find out about (marketing, business-to-business OR B2B, data security, etc.)

Library Databases

In recommended order, here are the databases available to assist you with industry research:

Search for Industry Association Information in Articles

Search for the name of the industry in business articles. Sometimes you will find statistics or research quoted in the articles that would normally only be available to members who pay membership fees to access.