Hospitality Verticals, Part 4

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Hospitality Verticals: Definitions

The hospitality industry is conventionally divided into four main verticals, which are food and beverage, travel and tourism, lodging, and recreation and entertainment. However, many of these verticals overlap and each affects the other. Definitions for each vertical with examples of companies operating in each space are below.

Food and Beverage

Travel and Tourism

  • The travel and tourism vertical of the hospitality industry comprises companies that deal with moving people from place to place, either for business or leisure.
  • According to Revfine, there is a specific definition for what is considered tourism, which is "the act of traveling to another environment, for at least 24 hours, but for no longer than one year, for purposes related to business or leisure."
  • Therefore, tourism requires a round trip and the industry "refers to all aspects of the service industry that cater to tourists."
  • While the travel and tourism industries are often linked together and do significantly overlap, they are distinct in that the "tourism industry is concerned with people traveling for business or pleasure purposes, staying in their destination for at least one night, and then returning" and the travel industry "includes both round trips and one-way journeys, and it covers a wide variety of different travel purposes."
  • Business types within this vertical include airlines, car rental companies, water transport companies, coach services, railway, spacecraft, travel agents, tour operators, online travel agencies (OTAs), and education.
  • Companies included in the travel and tourism vertical are TCS World Travel, Classic Journeys, Expedia, American Express Travel,,, Delta Air Lines, Qatar Airways, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and more.


  • The lodging vertical of the hospitality industry refers to accommodations for a specific time or a "place to sleep for one or more nights."
  • Business types within this vertical include hotels, motels, shared accommodations, hostels, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, cruises, resorts, and timeshare accommodations.
  • Properties within this sector can range from the "smallest overnight stay motel to [gigantic] Las Vegas style properties that offer almost every sector of related goods and services in the hospitality industry along with other amenities."
  • Other types of hotels include botels (boats that offer hotel-style lodging), apartment hotels (suites), boutique hotels, eco hotels, holiday cottages, pop-up hotels, and roadhouses.
  • Companies within the lodging vertical are "solely concerned with the provision of guest accommodation and related services."
  • Examples of companies within the lodging vertical include MGM Grand Las Vegas, Sheraton Grand Macao, Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, Motel 6, La Quinta Inns and Suites, Borgata, Rocking J’s, The Flying Pig, KOA, and more.

Recreation and Entertainment

  • The recreation and entertainment vertical of the hospitality industry refers to "any activity that people do for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment."
  • Typically, this part of the hospitality industry comprises things people do after they arrive at their travel destination; however, there is no need to actually travel to enjoy recreation and entertainment.
  • Business types within this vertical include casinos, shopping centers, amusement parks or centers, sporting events, zoos, museums, race tracks, theaters, movie theaters, fitness centers, recreation centers, music venues, parks, ski resorts, golf courses, marinas, festivals, aquariums, and more.
  • Some companies within the hospitality industry overlap with more than one vertical, one of which is usually the recreation and entertainment vertical. For example, many casinos also have hotels and cruises almost always include onboard recreation, entertainment, and leisure activities.
  • Companies included in the recreation and entertainment vertical include Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Merlin Entertainment Group, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment, Cinemark Theaters, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, Toronto Zoo, The Louvre, National Museum of China, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more.