TW’s 2020 Power List tells us that it was a very good year. Now for the sequel.
Travel Weekly’s annual Power List of travel agencies is more than just a list of the agencies that had $100 million and more (much more, in some cases) in sales the previous year. The profiles and capsule recaps of significant activity on the part of each company help us understand the importance of the distribution system to the tour and travel industry and to the latter’s contribution to the U.S. economy.
This year’s 2020 Power List of the 52 companies that made the cut will serve as a benchmark against which the industry can measure its progress once it starts to claw its way back to health and productivity. For the record, this year’s list told us that the Expedia Group (its brands include Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity and Trivago, among others) cracked the $100 billion threshold in sales last year—$107.9 billion, to be precise; it tallied $99 billion the previous year. Number 2, Booking Holdings (Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, Open Table and more) registered $96.4 billion—up from $92.7 billion.
The Top Ten on the Travel Weekly 2020 Power List generated a total of $332.5 billion in sales, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year’s Top Ten total sales of $317.3 billion. Look for numbers like these to populate the analyses that economists will use to measure the progress of our emergence from this year’s dark days.
As Travel Weekly put it: “In the year before the coronavirus pandemic, there was actually a whole lot of good news for the travel companies that reported their 2019 results for inclusion in the 2020 Travel Weekly Power List, our annual ranking of companies with $100 million or more in travel sales in the previous calendar year. Many of these agencies had expanded their sales volume, with some making acquisitions, bulking up staff and investing in new technology,” adding, “All of that investment may prove useful as the industry emerges from a punishing shutdown.”
INBOUND has reformatted some of the basics from the 2020 Power List in the following charts.
TW’s Note on Methodology: To qualify for the 2020 Power List, a company had to have a minimum of $100 million in travel sales in 2019. For purposes of this survey, sales are defined as gross sales of travel products worldwide, whether to consumers or to corporate travelers; the company must be the merchant of record on the transaction from a supplier’s perspective. At least 15 percent of the sales volume must have been generated in the U.S.
The questionnaire was sent in February to companies that had appeared on the list in previous years; had contacted Travel Weekly believing they qualified; or had been in the news because of acquisitions or had grown for other reasons.
As has been the case for years, Travel Weekly requested that gross sales volume be certified by a company’s owner, CEO or CFO. In a small number of cases, certification was made by an executive at the vice president level but with financial oversight.
Some companies that may have qualified opted not to participate; see our introduction as well as “A note on Booking Holdings.” (Above) While all cooperating listees did certify sales (or made them public), it must be kept in mind that even those numbers are difficult to verify because the great majority of travel sellers are privately held and under no obligation to disclose financial data.
For the complete account of the Power List article in Travel Weekly, click here.