Travel Agencies & Services
Companies in this industry arrange travel and traveler accommodations and include travel agents, tour operators, and other travel services like time-share exchanges, visitors bureaus, and ticket offices. Major companies include American Express Travel, Carlson Wagonlit, Expedia, Booking Holdings (formerly Priceline), and Sabre Holdings (all based in the US), as well as BCD Travel (the Netherlands), CITS (China), H.I.S. (Japan), Thomas Cook (UK), and TUI Travel (Germany).
Annual revenue from worldwide tourism, which includes travel agency services, is about $1.3 trillion, according to the World Tourism Organization. Travel agency services are prevalent in the countries that spend the most on tourism; tourist receipts, which includes travel arrangements and reservation services, are highest in the US, Spain, France, Thailand, and the UK.
The US travel services industry includes about 23,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $43 billion.
Demand is driven by business and leisure travel, which depends on the economy. The profitability of individual companies depends on marketing. Large companies have an advantage in being able to provide a wider range of services, especially to corporate customers, and to afford sophisticated websites. Small companies can compete effectively by providing service to a few large customers, specializing in a service niche, or serving a local market. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 45% of revenue.
Two major factors have shaped the industry in recent years: sophisticated pricing schemes developed by the airlines to maximize profitability, and the emergence of online travel information and booking services. The continued growth of alternative lodging services such as Airbnb could reduce demand for travel agencies that focus on booking hotel rooms.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services are reservations or tickets for airline flights and lodging, as well as leisure cruises and packaged tours. Commissions and fees for reservation
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms