Market Research - The Hotel Industry

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Learning Outcomes:

Students should gain familiarity with the following elements of business information literacy and specific information resources.

Information Literacy:

  • Find market and industry information
  • Understand the following concepts: Market Share, Market Size, Market Segmentation, Secondary and Primary Market Research
  • How to apply indirectly relevant reports.
  • Identify and understand internal and external market trends.
  • Availability, currency, coverage, and cost of pre-packaged market research reports.
  • Present industry/market information in a visual manner.
  • Make a well-supported recommendation based off of their provided information.


  • A source for market research reports.
  • A source for industry overview reports.
  • An infographic development tool.


The hotel industry is extremely competitive. A multitude of chains and independent hotels compete for a wide variety of travelers. As a consulting team hired by Blue Soda Investments, you have been tasked with analyzing the current state of the hotel industry. Your client, Blue Soda Investments, is considering investing significant money in the hotel industry. It is crucial for you to be aware of major trends that are influencing the industry and competitors. You need to succinctly and visually present your information to the head of the Strategic Directions division in the form of an infographic.


Your team will compile the necessary information into an infographic ( or

  • Market
    • Market size
      • what is the size of the market?
      • Do the different market reports agree?
        • Show this data from multiple reports if possible.
    • Market segmentation
      • what are the primary segments of the hotel industry?
      • What are different ways of displaying market segmentation?
        • List the key segments and corresponding numbers or percentages.
        • Show 2+ market segmentations.
    • Analysis: Which segment looks to grow the best in the near future?
    • Market share
      • who are the major companies/brands in the hotel industry?
        • List at least the top 3 companies/brands with their market share percent.
    • Trends
      • Identify 4-6 internal or external trends (positive or negative) influencing travelers.
        • External = outside the hotel industry. Internal = inside the hotel industry
    • Analysis: which trend do you think currently has the strongest influence on travelers?

Preliminary Discussion:

This is an activity that can stretch across 2-3 class periods with the first being lecture and the 2 subsequent classes for collecting information and collating the content within the team. During the lecture/activity class period students should work in groups to answer the following questions for 5 minutes after reviewing the case:

Based on the case presented and my own knowledge, what do I know about the case?
What do I want or need to know in order to make the recommendation to the company?

In order for students to understand how to give a concrete recommendation about the state of the industry, several terms must be explained by the librarians/instructors. These include Market Segmentation, Market Share, Market Size, Primary Market Research, and Secondary Market Research. To see some ways to introduce these concepts, please review our Prezi on Market Research [5] and on Industry Analysis [6]

First Resource:

Search Google for ‘hotels and market research’ and ‘hotels and trends’. Review and discuss the varying results of fee-based information and free information. Focus on issues of cost, validity, timeliness, authority, and accuracy. There is useful information to be found but there is significant information not available. Also discuss identifying industry associations, ‘hotels and association’, that may provide useful information. Emphasize that only searching Google provides little competitive advantage, because everybody searches Google. Striking a balance between free web and fee-based databases provides a deeper understanding and a stronger competitive advantage.

Second Resource:

Search a market research report database, like Mintel (or Academic or similar). Highlight the core sections within a market report specifically, Market overview, Projections, Competitors, and Consumer Preferences. Explain the amount of work that goes into a market report to justify the cost of these reports. Look at demographically focused reports that may be relevant.

Third Resource:

Search an industry overview database, like IBISWorld. Highlight the differences and similarities between an industry report and market report. Focus on the factors for entering an industry and the cost structure breakdown.

Wrap Up:

Include any summary principles or suggestions for librarians conducting your case. The librarians themselves should use the Wrap Up to review the strategies and principles learned during the case and point students to further resources or strategies, lest the artificial constraints of the library instruction context create in students a habit of quick or narrow research practices.


Prior to this session there should be a presentation on effectively presenting information. Describing different types of presentations: memos, powerpoint/prezi, infographics, and oral presentations highlighting strengths & weaknesses. It should also show how they can be used effectively together. When instructing about infographics using some of the examples here: can be useful.

A preliminary assignment is given to the students, individually, to aid in their understanding of infographics. The infographic mini-assignment is due before the start of class on ?/?/?. You are expected to find one infographic that is focused on some facet of Hospitality & Tourism. This can include: hotels, restaurants, travel, airlines, event planning, and other areas. You will post the Web link to your infographic into the Infographic Discussion Forum inside the Discussions folder. You cannot post an infographic that someone else has already posted. So be sure to look at the other infographics before you post yours to the forum.

Submitted By:

Assoc. Prof. Hal P. Kirkwood

Business Information Specialist

Purdue University

Originally Submitted: February 13, 2017