Industry research: Hotel industry

Have you heard of “braggies”??

I came across the term in a report on global travel trends. Apparently hotel chains are rewarding guests who share their “braggies” on social media– “braggies” are usually pictures taken from a hotel window to show off the views, or pictures of the room and amenities, which are shared within minutes of checking in. Some hotel chains are rewarding “braggie” posters with room upgrades or mini-bar credits.

A riff on the selfie, braggies are being used as promotional tools for hotels. This got me thinking about what other trends are going on in the industry? Are Airbnb and other peer-to-peer accommodation sites having an effect on the industry? What about the industry in the Okanagan, or Kelowna? Here is a brief breakdown on how you might start researching the industry, with both library resources and free online resources.

As I would start any type of research, my usual thoughts go to: who would gather information on this topic, and who would publish it? You could start with a search online, but spending a few minutes thinking about and researching associations or research groups who deal directly with an industry can save you time. Instead of weeding through pages of irrelevant information, try going right to ‘those in the know’.

In terms of library resources, my thoughts go to our subscription database, Passport. Passport contains industry and company reports and statistics about consumer products such as drinks (alcoholic, soft, hot), appliances, beauty products, pet care, and also services such as finance, foodservice, and travel and tourism. I know they have trend reports on the travel industry, as well as information about the travel industry in Canada and other countries. The first thing I see when I click on the Travel and Tourism link is an article called “Millennials – A New Breed of Travelers”. Interesting– this post provides more details on the impact of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1990) on the travel industry, including information on social media and the importance of being connected (bringing us back to that “braggie” trend). I haven’t even got to the in-depth industry reports and I’ve already spied on the first page a videocast on the travel sharing economy (Airbnb, Uber) and an infographic on consumer spending increases on hotel bookings due to online booking systems. More traditional reports include Travel Accommodation in Canada, World Travel Market Trends Report (which has information on trends such as “braggies” and “poshtels”), and reports on Airbnb and various global hotel chains.

Other databases like Business Source Complete and ABI/Inform will have reports on the hotel industry written by market research firms, as well as articles in trade publications discussing trends and current events from those who work in the industry. It’s good to get views from inside and outside the industry for a more rounded look. For example in Business Sources Complete I can find reports by searching for: hotel industry, and then limiting to industry reports:

Marketline. (2014). Global Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines: Industry Profile. Retrieved from http://marketline.com

Marketline. (2014). Hotels & Motels Industry Profile: Canada. Retrieved from http://marketline.com

I would also try a search for hotel trends, or travel trends, and limit to trade publications and magazines, to see what those in the industry are talking about, on a global or local scale.

So those are a few examples of what library databases can help find… what about free resources online?

I would check out industry associations for more information, as they are likely to distribute information for their members, and often have reports available on their websites. For example, the BC Hotel Association has some statistics on international visitors to BC, as well as links to recent news on the industry (I see an article on “Li-Fi”, smart coffee makers, and other new tech trends in the industry), and their own online magazine with trends affecting BC hotels (with articles like: “Targeting Business Travellers”).

Other industry associations:

Hotel Association of Canada

American Hotel and Lodging Association

Destination BC (great reports on tourism in BC by region, market, activity, and travel motivations)

Go2

And check out the library research guide for Tourism, which has more information on finding stats and resources related to travel and tourism. The Data & Statistics tab has links to various BC and Canadian Government sources for finding information on tourism, such as room revenue statistics for BC and tourism indicators.

Now I want to go check into a poshtel, connect to the Li-Fi, and post a braggie…

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