Travel and Tourism Industry Guide

Countryside roads and a beach villa

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the travel and tourism industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Bed and Breakfast (B&B)  BOP066 
Campsite  BOP550 
Guest House  BOP408 
Holiday Cottage Rental  BOP360 
Hotel  BOP394 
Tea Room  BOP087 
Tour Guide  BOP040 
Tour Operator  BOP407 
Touring Caravan Site  BOP078 
Travel Agent  BOP247 

Business Information Fact Sheets

Advertising Hotels, Guest Houses, or Bed and Breakfast Accommodation Online  BIF499 

Mini Business Opportunity Profile (Mini BOP)

Luggage and Travel Accessories Retailer  MBP445 
Travel Writer  MBP413 

Source of Business Information

Green Tourism  SOU263 

Sector Research Guide

UK Holiday Accommodation and Tourism  SRG002 

Sector Update

Travel and Tourism – Sector Update  SEC011 

UK Market Synopsis

UK Holidays and Tourism  SYN066 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business, located in the Business & IP Centre.

How to Buy and Manage Your Own Hotel by Miles Quest and Peter Nannestad (Goodfellow Publishers 2015) [SBH. BT.47]
Step by step guide from the time of initial interest in buying a hotel to the day of take over.
Practical advice from industry experts covering the purchasing process, location, hotel types, staff, franchising, raising finance, accounts, marketing and how to take advantage of social media.

How to be a Travel Writer by Don George with Janine Eberle [SBH.BT.43]
A practical guide on how to write about travel: whether to make a living or simply for the pure pleasure of jotting in a journal for posterity!
How to open a financially successful Bed & Breakfast for Small Hotel by Sharon L. Fullen, Douglas Brown and Douglas Robert Brown [SBH.BT.55]
This book looks at the business side of owning a B7B covering basic cost control systems, profitable menu planning, reservation systems, successful kitchen management, housekeeping, beverage management, room rate formulas, arrival, billing  departure and training employees and more. There is also a sample business plan that may be adapted for personal use!
Starting a Business from Home by Colin Barrow [SBH.BT.160]
A guide to planning a Home Start-up, reaching a market and creating a profit.
Starting and Running a Holiday Cottage Business by Gillean Sangster [SBH.BT.118]
Gillean Sangster moved to Scotland with her husband where they started their own successful holiday cottage business. This book tells you how they did it and helps you identify a market, choose a property then prepare and present it for maximum effect. Learn how to manage the finances, deal with planning permissions, effectively market the business; run the business day to day; and provide a good service so that your clients come back again and again.
Starting your career as an illustrator by Michael Fleishman [SBH.BT.120]
A technical how-to book, with information on business, some inspiration, with a professional overview; topics include how to: create a portfolio, make initial contact, develop a financial plan, set up an office, acquire supplies and equipment, price your own work, market on the web, nurture a growing freelance business…
Tourism Marketing for Cities and Towns by Bonita Kolb [SBH.BT.148]
This book will help anyone working in the tourism industry to understand how places, particularly cities and towns are marketed to and consumed by tourists. This book focuses on clearly explaining how to develop the branded destination with special emphasis on product analysis and the use of social media to create personalized experiences desired by visitors. There is also real-world application and a theoretical background to the field as a whole.

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

IBISWorld logo

  • Airports in the UK – H52.230
  • Bus & Tramway Operators in the UK- H49.319
  • Caravan & Camping Sites in the UK – I55.300
  • Holiday Accommodation in the UK – I55.200
  • Libraries, Museums & Cultural Activities in the UK – R91.000
  • Sea & Coastal Passenger Water Transport in the UK – H50.100
  • Tour Operators in the UK –N79.120
  • Travel Agencies in the UK –N79.110

Mintel logo

  • Activity & Adventure Travel
  • Baby Boomers Travel
  • Baby Boomers versus Millennials
  • Beach Holidays
  • Business Traveller-UK
  • Camping and Caravanning UK
  • Changing Face of Technology in Travel and Tourism
  • Domestic Tourism UK
  • Driving Holidays in Africa
  • Ethical and Green Credentials in Travel
  • Family Holidays
  • Food Tourism Worldwide
  • Group Holidays and Escorted Tours
  • Holiday Activities and Experiences Abroad
  • Holiday Car Hire
  • Holiday Centres UK
  • Holiday Planning and Booking Process
  • Holiday Rental Property
  • Holiday Review UK
  • Inbound Tourism UK
  • Legacy of Mega Events in Tourism - International
  • Long-Haul Holidays
  • Long-haul vs Short – haul holidays
  • Loyalty and Trust in Travel Markets
  • MICE Worldwide
  • Mountain Tourism Worldwide
  • Package vs Independent Holidays UK
  • Premium vs Budget Traveller
  • Rail Travel Worldwide
  • Social Media in the Hotel Industry
  • Solo Holidays UK
  • The Customer Journey in Travel
  • Travel Agents
  • Trends in Eco-accommodation Worldwide
  • Visitor Attractions
  • Winter Holidays Abroad

eMarketer logo

  • EMarketer has some reports which may be found by using the search term Travel and Tourism

Passport logo

  • Best of Britain and Ireland
  • Tourism Flows in the United Kingdom
  • Travel in the United Kingdom
  • Online Travel Sales & Intermediaries in the United Kingdom
  • Airlines in the United Kingdom

Please note that Passport Euromonitor has a large series of Travel & Tourism reports, articles and statistics from countries around the world.

Please note that articles about the travel and tourism industry are available from Business News & Journals databases: Business Source Complete (EBSCO), Factiva, ABI Inform Global.  The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has many in-depth country profiles.

Printed & Online Market Research Reports

Please ask for help in finding these.
Hotel Britain: The guide to performance of hotels in the UK
(PKF 2013) [(B) MKT 338.4764794094105 BUS] (2015 – order using Explore the British Library)
A report that outlines topics such as the economy and tourism, UK hotel transactions and hotel survey results. Last three years reports freely available online.

London Travel Report
[Updated online 2015 - Transport For London]
Annual compendium of statistics of travel and transport in London. Covers public and private transport, travel patterns, commuting, casualties, population etc. Available online.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Order using Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Attractions Management (Leisure Media Company Limited): may be accessed digitally on British Library computers in the Reading Room via online catalogue.
Provides news for and about visitor attractions including theme and amusement parks, fairs and rides, museums, galleries, zoos, aquaria and safari parks etc. Includes buyers’ guide. Recent issues freely available online.

Hotel Business (MS Publications Ltd.) [(P) 647.94094105 –E(1) BUS]
Monthly publication highlighting relevant trends and developments in the hotel industry with news, articles, views on specific topics. Recent issues freely available online.

Journal of Ecotourism (Channel View Publications) [(P) AK 50 -E(90) order using Explore the British Library]
Academic journal covering research ecologically responsible tourism. Includes protected areas, specialist holidays, sustainable travel and tours. Title now taken as electronic copy only.
Leisure Management (Leisure Publications) may be accessed digitally on British Library computers in the Reading Room via online catalogue.
News for managers of visitor attractions, theme parks, sports and leisure centres, nightclubs etc. Covers property, equipment, interior design, new developments etc. Some issues freely available online.

Tourism Economics: The business & finance of tourism & recreation (IP Publishing Ltd.) [ZC.9.a.4195 Humanities - order using ‘Explore the British Library’]
Includes detailed analysis of statistics, air travel, hotels, environmental factors, the economy, pricing, regional studies etc. Title now taken as electronic copy only
Tourism Report (Business Monitor International) [(P) 338.4791 –E(1) BUS]
Several quarterly publications concentrating on tourism within specific Middle East, South East Asia, African and Eastern European countries. Also includes the UK, US, Japan etc.

TTG: Travel Trade Gazette (United Business Media, weekly) [(P) AK 50 – E(15) BUS]
Weekly newspaper for the travel and tourism industry. Includes company and industry news, new brochures and launches, destination profiles, agent surveys and job vacancies.
Vacation Industry Review (Interval International) [(P) AK 50 -E(94) BUS]
Mainly focuses on hotel complexes, resorts and particularly timeshare developments worldwide. Includes surf and beach clubs, fitness and golf clubs.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

Airline Directory 2018 (Air Transport Publications Ltd) [(B) DIR 387.7025 BUS]
Airline industry information such as global airline passenger numbers, freight traffic figures and contact for airline operations and advisory bodies etc.
Airport Directory 2013/14 (Air Transport Publications Limited) [(B) DIR 387.736025 BUS]
Directory of companies offering products and services related to the design, operation and maintenance of airports and airfields. Includes a directory of airports, airport operators, handling agents, industry suppliers, associations and organisations.

Caravan Industry Supplies & Services Directory 2019 (A. E. Morgan Publications Limited) [(B) DIR 388.346 BUS]
Includes listings of manufacturers, related services, products and components as well as suppliers of furniture and fittings.

Duty-Free & Travel-Retail Database & Directory 2018/19 (DFNI Metropolis Business Media) [(B) DIR 382.782 BUS]
World market for top operators listing suppliers, agents and distributors for duty free and travel retail around the world. Lists leading operators and top selling brands.

Global Event Planner 2017 (Haymarket Brand Media) [(B) DIR 658.456 BUS]
Gives a snapshot of approx. 20 countries from a conference viewpoint.

Inflight Handbook 2016 (HMG Aerospace Ltd) [(B) DIR 387.742 BUS]
Includes directories of:

  • Scheduled airline, charter and corporate operators with brief details of In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity equipment available.
  • Companies supplying IFEC products and services.
  • Companies offering catering and cabin amenity products.

Includes a product guide.

The Little Red Book 2015 (Ian Allen Publishing) [(B) DIR 338.332 BUS]
Directory for the bus and coach industry listing vehicle suppliers and dealers, manufacturers and suppliers of products and services to the industry bus operators and trade organisations.

Low-Fare Regional Aviation Handbook 2016 (HMG Aerospace Ltd) [(B) DIR 387.7 BUS]
Includes a brief guide to aircraft and engine specifications currently in production or under development; plus an index and guide to operators, an airport and suppliers guide, training providers, associations and organisations.

Who’s Who in the Bus & Coach Industry 2018/2019 (Yandell Publishing Ltd) [(B) DIR 388.322 BUS]
Directory listing UK bus and coach operators, plus service providers to the industry.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Association of British Travel Agents

The UK's premier trade association for tour operators and travel agents. Some free fact sheets and e-newsletters are available but primarily a membership requirement site.

Association of Independent Tour Operators

Represents around 160 of Britain's best specialist tour operators.

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)

Represents over 1,500 tourist sites across the UK and includes visitor statistics for many sites.

The Bed and Breakfast Association

Tel: (01935) 815252
A trade association that supports independent B&B owners by providing news and articles but primarily a membership requirement site.

The British Activity Providers Association (BAPA)

Tel: (01746) 769982
The trade association for businesses offering activity holidays and courses in the UK.

The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA)

Tel: (020) 8476 4000
Represents owners, managers and suppliers of the UK's commercial leisure parks, piers, zoos and other static attractions. It provides industry news and features.

British Destinations

An association comprising local authorities, tourist boards and commercial members. It provides information on the UK domestic tourism industry.

The British Holiday and Home Parks Association

Tel: (01452) 526911
Trade association for businesses providing camping facilities, caravan and chalet parks. Some free PDF reports available but mainly a membership requirement site.

Guild of Travel Management Companies

Represents the interests of business travellers and actively supports the profession of business travel management.

The Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT)

The ITT is a professional membership body for individuals employed within the travel industry and aims to continuously develop and maintain professional standards.

Leisure Opportunities

An online magazine with details of news, training, tenders and directory.

The National Caravan Council (NCC)

The trade association for all members of the UK caravan industry including holiday homes and park homes.

The Office of National Statistics

Publishes official government statistics for many industry sectors including travel and tourism.

People 1st

The sector skills council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism in the UK.

The Tourism Alliance

Tel: (020) 3117 0664
Lobbies the Government on behalf of the travel and tourism industry. It also produces a monthly newsletter with news from the industry.

The Tourism Society

Forum for professionals working in, studying or otherwise interested in tourism worldwide. Acts as an advocate, consulted by government and other official bodies, on tourism and related policy matters.

Travel Trade Gazette

Trade magazine for the travel industry featuring the latest news, developments and country guides. Includes sections on the business and luxury travel sector.

Travel Weekly

Magazine for the travel industry. Provides news, analysis, market intelligence and details of events.


An online source of industry news, features and blogs on the travel and tourism industry.

The Youth Hostel Association (YHA)

Tel: (01629) 592600
Operates more than 200 hostels across the UK and works to improve the life of young people.

UK Hospitality Association (BHA)

Tel: (020) 7404 7744
Represents members of the hospitality industry and lobbies the Government on their behalf.

UK Inbound

Tel: (020) 7395 7500
UKinbound is the trade association representing the UK's inbound tourism industry.
The UK has five national tourist boards who work in partnership to promote an attractive image of the UK:

Visit Britain

Markets Britain to the rest of the world and England to the British. Formed by the merger of the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourism Council.

Visit England

Visit Wales

Tel: (03330) 063001

Wales Tourism

Visit Scotland

Tel: (0131) 472 2222

Scotland Tourism

Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB)

Tel: (028) 9023 1221

Discover Northern Ireland

World Tourism Organization

A specialised agency of the United Nations. Serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how.

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by Romaneau, AllauddinYousafzai, tpsdave under a Creative Commons license