By the end of 2013, the industry's net profit margin exceeded 7 percent, compared to its negative 6.2 percent margin in 2009. While the rate of sales growth has dipped a bit for privately held companies, these businesses are still growing sales positively, and at a fairly consistent rate since the recession. “In some ways, business owners would be happy to trade sales for profits, as hotels did in 2013,” says Sageworks analyst Kevin Abbas. “However, when the rate of growth begins to slide, it’s difficult to sustain high profit margins. We’ll be keeping our eyes on that growth metric in 2014.” Hotels, B&Bs and others in the travel accommodation sector have seen significant financial improvement since the recession, when they hit rock-bottom in terms of profits and sales, says Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman. Get the full story at