Are Online Travel Agencies Safe To Use? 👨🏻‍💻 17 Best Online Travel Agencies For Seamless Journeys: Travel Like A Pro ✈️

Are Online Travel Agencies Safe To Use? Online travel agencies are generally safe to use, but it’s essential to choose reputable and well-established platforms with positive customer reviews.

The rise of online travel agencies (OTAs) has made travel planning and booking extremely easy in today’s world.

By providing passengers from all over the world with a variety of services, offers, and packages, these platforms have changed the travel business.

Online travel agents can help you with your search for flights, hotels, holiday packages, or tours.

🤔 What are online travel agencies?

4. travelocity, 5. skyscanner, 6. lastminute.com, 8. trip.com, 10. booking.com, 11. expedia, 12. tripadvisor, 14. priceline, 15. cheapoair.

  • 🧐 Things To Consider While Making Reservation Through OTA's

⭐ Advantages & Disadvantages of Online Travel Agencies

Q. is it cheaper to book online or through a travel agent, q. do online travel agencies offer better deals than airlines and hotels directly, q. can i trust user-generated reviews on online travel agency platforms, q. do online travel agencies provide customer support, q. are there any hidden fees when booking through online travel agencies.

  • Q. Are the Online Travel Agencies Reliable?

Q. Do Online Travel Agencies offer personalized itineraries?

Q. are online travel agencies more expensive than booking directly, q. can i book international trips through online travel agencies, 😇 conclusion, 🗨️ tell us in the comments as per you which one is the best online travel agencies.

Best Online Travel Agencies

Online Travel Agency (OTA) is the name for a website that sells travel services. It lets customers book flights, hotels, and other trips all from one place. They are like a travel agent in the digital world.

📃 List of 17 Best Online Travel Agencies at Your Fingertips

After a lot of research and considering travelers’ reviews we have shortlisted some of the best online travel companies that are operational nowadays.

  • Travelocity
  • Lastminute.com
  • Booking.com
  • TripAdvisor

VRBO | Best Online Travel Agencies

A US-based internet travel company called VRBO focuses on vacation rentals. Landlords and managers can directly register their houses on VRBO, similar to Airbnb.

When booking through Vrbo, visitors may also get travel insurance. In addition to being a part of one of the largest travel companies in the world, VRBO has a reputation for being a trustworthy lodging option.

Parkos | Best Online Travel Agencies

A website called Parkos.com makes airport parking stress-free. Thanks to the company’s new online platform, potential consumers can now compare various airport parking and facilities, make a reservation, and pay for it in advance of their trip day.

Both locals and visitors have provided overwhelmingly good feedback since Parkos entered the parking sector in 2014.

All technologically aided services revolve around giving automobile owners confidence that their vehicles are safe when they are away from them.

The majority of people may gain more from this comparison, but those who drive pricey high-end cars may find it interesting.

Also Read: 10 Best Places For New Year Celebration

Agoda | Best Online Travel Agencies

Hotel reservations are the focus of Agoda , a multinational online travel firm located in Singapore.

Along with many other comparable OTAs on this list, it is owned by Booking Holdings, the parent company of Booking.com.

The Agoda network, which offers more than a million hotels and vacation rentals, is primarily focused on the Asian economy but has now grown into Europe and the United States.

The company’s marketing strategy is centered on giving customers affordable or reduced housing.

Travelocity | Best Online Travel Agencies

In 1996, Travelocity was established as an online travel agency with several services for customers. It is owned and operated by the international travel service provider The Expedia Group.

You can check for airfare and hotel bundles, choices for a rental vehicle, cruises, and more using Travelocity’s website.

Additionally, you can read travel-related articles, order tickets for well-liked attractions, and communicate your journey arrangements with loved ones.

A well-known company with a big customer base is Travelocity. They provide a huge selection of vacation packages, many of which are aimed at families.

Skyscanner | Best Online Travel Agencies

Skyscanner is a metasearch aggregator that gathers prices for flights, hotels, and rental cars from all online travel agents (OTAs) in one location. Booking flights and hotels with Skyscanner typically results in the most affordable options.

After making your choice, you will be sent to a third-party booking form on the Skyscanner website where you can complete the transaction and reserve your flight.

Skyscanner is used by millions of people to compare rates and options for their travel arrangements. Simply said, it compiles and presents to customers all of the offers from all online travel agencies (OTAs).

Also Read: 15 Best Countries For Solo Travel 

Lastminute.com | Best Online Travel Agencies

City hopping is a popular pastime in Europe because of how close together the cities are. Among the top three booking sites is lastminute.com .

In this OTA, flight bookings are made through an aggregator website, and hotel reservations are made through an OTA, both of which we have seen before.

Finding last-minute discounts on hotels, flights, and all-inclusive holiday packages is the specialty of the website lastminute.com.

If you’re brave enough to play the chicken, Last Minute has the best travel deals. For tourists looking for a dealer who isn’t scared to wait until the last minute, there are a couple of better OTAs. We’re certain to have the flight or hotel bargain you’re looking for.

Airbnb | Best Online Travel Agencies

Members of Airbnb are allowed to advertise their available lodging and accept overnight reservations. However, the business has added hotels and homestays to its list of offerings.

However, Air b nb is extremely particular about the standards it must uphold when it comes to hotels that can be offered on its platform.

The majority of hotels must demonstrate their distinctive design, how the neighborhood affects their rooms, and how guests can access communal areas.

The most economical choice may be an Airbnb vacation rental. Additionally, compared to hotels, you are more likely to locate more beds in the same property on Airbnb.

Many Airbnbs provide sofas or futons to accommodate larger groups. For longer visits, many of these hotels provide kitchens and washing machines, enabling visitors to save money by preparing their meals.

Trip.com | Best Online Travel Agencies

The largest OTA in China, Trip.com , a Chinese firm, created Trip.com, an international OTA. Trip.com’s marketing initiatives are primarily aimed at domestic and international travelers to China.

Contrarily, Trip.com has a partnership with Booking.com that enables it to broaden its global reach.

Today, Trip.com has hundreds of millions of users worldwide. The organization wants to give both domestic and foreign travelers the best travel experiences possible.

Wotif | Best Online Travel Agencies

Wotif also owns LastMinute, a website that offers last-minute discounts on lodging, transportation, and other travel essentials to Australians and New Zealanders.

This local internet travel business mostly caters to travelers from the UK and Europe. On this website, tourists can search for and buy flights, lodging, auto rentals, excursions, and package deals.

Also Read: 11 Best Ways To Become A Travel Enthusiast

Booking.com  | Best Online Travel Agencies

The biggest hotel booking website in the world, Booking.com , also lets you book travel and a rental car. It can be used by travelers to learn about different types of lodging, locations, and offers.

However, making reservations for different types of lodging is where its true power lies. For the typical person, it serves as an all-inclusive travel agency.

Hotels and other accommodation facilities are only billed by Booking.com after a reservation is made.

There isn’t a monthly cost that must be paid. An all-inclusive internet travel firm called Bookin.com provides lodging and travel options all around the world.

Expedia | Best Online Travel Agencies

Online travel agencies (OTAs) are a business model used by many E x pedia Group businesses, notably Expedia, the largest OTA.

The company was founded in 2001 and was based in Bellevue, Washington, in the US.

It is one of the most prosperous travel companies in the world, having localized websites in more than 40 nations.

Expedia has provided access to flights, hotels, and rental cars for more than ten years. They are the largest travel company in the world.

Its marketing plan places a strong emphasis on the value of providing affordable lodging options.

Expedia is an excellent option if you want to pay for your airfare, hotel, and car hire all at once.

TripAdvisor

One of the most well-known travel platforms, TripAdvisor provides a variety of user-generated information in addition to booking services.

Travelers get access to reviews, images, and ratings posted by other travelers, allowing them to plan their trips with greater knowledge.

The website also offers the ability to compare flights and book excursions and other activities, making it a complete online travel agency (OTA).

Kayak

A meta-search engine called Kayak searches the internet for the finest travel offers on several platforms.

It provides full results on a single page by comparing costs for airfare, accommodation, rental cars, and other services.

Users of its “Explore” feature can find new places to go and the most cost-effective times to travel.

Budget-conscious travelers choose Kayak because of its simple UI and time-saving features.

Priceline | Best Online Travel Agencies

The “Name Your Own Price” option on Priceline is known for allowing customers to place bids on hotel rooms and rental vehicles at the prices they like.

Priceline provides regular booking choices like flights, hotels, and rental cars in addition to the bidding system, which may not appeal to everyone.

Travelers who are flexible with their travel plans can take advantage of their Express Deals feature, which offers big reductions on unpublished rates.

CheapOair | Best Online Travel Agencies

Travelers seeking low-cost airline options without sacrificing quality are catered to by CheapOair .

The network appeals to people who are concerned about their spending because it offers exclusive deals and discounts on hotels, flights, and car rentals.

CheapOair makes arranging travel reservations simple with its user-friendly interface and round-the-clock customer service.

Orbitz

Flights, hotels, holiday packages, and activities are just a few of the travel options that Orbitz provides.

Orbitz Rewards, the platform’s loyalty program, enables customers to earn rewards and take advantage of special member advantages.

If customers discover lower rates elsewhere, Orbitz guarantees they will be refunded the difference with its price guarantee promise.

Hotwire | Best Online Travel Agencies

Hotwire is known for providing significantly lower rates for accommodation, travel, and transportation.

Partner hotels can offer lower rates without publicly undercutting their usual pricing because the platform hides the identity of specific hotels until after booking.

For tourists eager to take advantage of this method of surprise booking, Hotwire’s “Hot Rates” provide huge savings.

🧐 Things To Consider While Making Reservation Through OTA’s

When making reservations through an Online Travel Agency (OTA), consider the following:

  • Price and Deals: Compare prices and look for exclusive deals and discounts offered by the OTA.
  • Cancellation Policies: Understand the OTA’s cancellation and refund policies to avoid any inconvenience in case of changes in your plans.
  • User Reviews: Check user reviews and ratings to gauge the reliability and quality of the service.
  • Customer Support: Ensure the OTA provides accessible and responsive customer support for assistance during and after booking.
  • Hidden Fees: Be wary of hidden fees or additional charges that may not be clearly stated upfront.
  • Booking Security: Verify the OTA’s security measures to protect your personal and financial information.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance for added protection against unexpected events.
  • Flexibility: Choose an OTA that offers flexible booking options to accommodate any last-minute changes.
  • Available Services: Confirm that the OTA offers the services you need, such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and activities.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Opt for an OTA with an intuitive and easy-to-navigate website or app for a seamless booking experience.

Advantages of Online Travel Agencies

  • Convenience: Users can book flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements from the comfort of their homes, saving time and effort.
  • Wide Selection: Online travel agencies offer a vast inventory of travel options, providing a variety of choices for different budgets and preferences.
  • Price Comparison: Users can compare prices across multiple airlines, hotels, and car rental companies to find the best deals.
  • User Reviews: Travelers can read reviews and ratings from other users to make informed decisions about their bookings.
  • Exclusive Deals: Many online travel agencies offer exclusive discounts and promotions for their customers.
  • 24/7 Access: Online travel agencies are available round the clock, allowing users to make bookings at any time.

Disadvantages of Online Travel Agencies

  • Hidden Fees : Some online travel agencies may have hidden fees or additional charges that are not disclosed upfront.
  • Lack of Personalized Service: Unlike traditional travel agents, online platforms may lack personalized recommendations and support.
  • Technical Issues: Technical glitches or website outages can cause inconvenience and delay in making bookings.
  • Limited Flexibility: Some online travel agencies have strict cancellation and refund policies, limiting flexibility for travelers.
  • Scams and Fraud: There is a risk of encountering fraudulent websites or services when booking through unknown or unverified platforms.
  • Overwhelming Options: The abundance of choices on online travel agency websites can sometimes lead to decision paralysis for users.

🙋🏻‍♀️ FAQs For Online Travel Agencies

There are a lot of questions that come to our mind while making reservations through online travel agencies some of the commonly asked questions are answered below.

A. Booking online often offers better deals and discounts compared to traditional travel agents.

A. Yes, online travel agencies often negotiate special deals and discounts with airlines and hotels, which can result in more cost-effective options for travelers.

A. While most user-generated reviews are genuine and helpful, it’s essential to consider multiple sources and exercise discernment when making decisions based on reviews.

A. Yes, reputable online travel agencies offer customer support via phone, email, or live chat to assist with booking inquiries and travel-related issues.

A. While some online travel agencies may charge service fees or have specific booking terms, reputable platforms are transparent about any additional costs during the booking process.

Q. Are the Online Travel Agencies Reliable ?

A. Absolutely! Online Travel Agencies are reputable and reliable. They work with established partners and have a track record of excellent customer service.

A. Yes, they do! Online Travel Agencies take your preferences and interests into account to craft personalized itineraries tailored to your needs.

A. Not necessarily. Online Travel Agencies often secure exclusive deals and discounts, making them competitive with direct bookings.

A. Yes, you can! Best Online Travel Agencies offer a wide range of international travel options and guide visa requirements.

In conclusion, online travel companies have completely changed how we organize and book our journeys.

These OTAs have evolved into crucial tools for modern travelers thanks to their user-friendly interfaces, vast inventory, and affordable prices.

The top online travel agencies included in this article can assist you in organizing an enjoyable trip, regardless of whether you are an experienced traveler or preparing for your first excursion.

Also, don’t forget to book your personalized holiday package with  Fiery Trippers . Let us make your vacation a romantic as well as a dreamy getaway.

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Best Online Travel Agencies

Booking.com is our top choice for making your trip arrangements

Ligaya Malones is an editor, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in food and travel. Ligaya's work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet and BRIDES.

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Planning a trip can be easier through an online travel agency than if you handle each aspect of the planning separately. You can book hotels, air travel, rental cars, and more through a single site, and booking everything together sometimes results in discounts. By inputting a destination, a range of dates, and other preferences, you will see a list of options for each aspect of travel.

The best online travel agencies offer options from the largest number of airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and more. Look for sites that offer discounts for combining reservations for different aspects of your trip. For example, the best sites will have lower rates if you book both plane tickets and a hotel through their services. The best sites also provide reviews from customers who actually have booked through the service. These are our top picks.

  • Best Overall: Booking.com
  • Best Budget: Skyscanner
  • Best Price Predictor: Hopper
  • Most Innovative: Kiwi.com
  • Best for Eco-Conscious: Kind Traveler
  • Best for Social Impact: I Like Local
  • Best for Design-Forward Homestays: Plum Guide
  • Our Top Picks
  • Booking.com

Kind Traveler

I Like Local

  • See More (4)

Final Verdict

Frequently asked questions, methodology, best overall : booking.com.

 Booking.com

This industry leader offers one of the most comprehensive trip planning platforms on the Internet.

Lots of options to choose from

Interface is easy to use

Numerous filters to customize your search

Tricky to tell whether changes/cancellations can be made with Booking.com or the vendor directly

Booking.com was founded in 1996 and has grown into an industry leader that stands out for being one of the most comprehensive trip planning platforms out there. From one website, you can compare and book accommodations, flights (including one-way and multi-city flights), sightseeing activities, and even airport taxis. The website lists more than 28 million accommodation options, from hotels, hostels, and B&Bs to vacation homes and luxury resorts—you can browse more choices per destination on Booking.com than other online travel agencies. The website also performs well on cost and typically returns lower-than-average prices for flights and hotels. 

Booking.com's interface is also easy to use. On the home page, search for a hotel by entering your chosen destination and dates. Then, use the extensive list of filters—such as price range and distance from the city center—to narrow the results down and find the best fit. You can also search for a specific hotel, or seek inspiration by clicking through options grouped by destination or property type or by topic such as the country’s best Michelin-starred hotel restaurants or the top cities for vegan travelers. The flights, car rental, and other tabs are just as intuitive. 

Best Budget : Skyscanner

 Skyscanner

You can compare prices across airlines, hotels, and car rentals.

Simple interface

Option to toggle searches between specific dates or by monthly calendars

Search Everywhere button is great for spontaneous planners

Extra clicks are required to make a final purchase

Must read fine print for changes/cancellations—may need to deal directly with the vendor

Ads on the sidebar can be distracting

Find deals on airfare, hotels, and car rentals with an aggregator site like Skyscanner , which uses a metasearch engine to compare prices from all online travel agencies and the airline, hotel, or car rental company in question. Run searches with fixed dates, opt to compare airfare prices month to month, or click “Cheapest Month.” Searches also include options for nearby airports or non-stop flights only. With hotel searches, you can choose to select only from properties with free cancellation, a cleanliness rating of 4.5/5 or higher, or 3- or 4-starred hotels only. Car rental searches include an option to select “return car to different location.”

Once you’ve found the best rate, click on the link to be redirected to the third-party site to make your booking. Feeling spontaneous? The Search Everywhere button on the homepage offers a list of the cheapest flight deals for destinations both locally and across the world—just plug in your departure airport first.

Best Price Predictor : Hopper

The company claims a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting when flights and hotel rates will be cheapest.

Color-coded system makes it easy to determine cheapest days to buy

App is easy to use

Option to track flights and receive alerts when the best time to buy arises

Some have mentioned the app functions better as a research tool than a booking tool

Unclear whether Hopper will price match if you find a cheaper flight elsewhere

Hopper is a travel app available on iOS and Android that aims to help travelers save on airfare by usng historical data and their own algorithm to predict when flights will be cheapest. Just type in where and when you’d like to fly and Hopper will present you with a color-coded pricing calendar indicating how much tickets are likely to cost. (Green is the least expensive, then yellow, orange, and red for most expensive.) Hopper will also recommend you either buy now or wait, or you can choose to watch a trip and receive notifications on the best time to buy. In addition, the app has expanded to offer hotel and car rental price predictions, too.

Some newer features since the app’s inception in 2009 include an option to freeze a price for a limited time—for an extra fee—as well as exclusive app-only discounts. Hopper is free to download, and you can choose to book directly through the app, though some users mentioned they use Hopper as more of a research tool before booking directly with the airline or hotel. The company claims a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting flight rates up to a year ahead.

Most Innovative : Kiwi.com

This metasearch engine scours the web to piece together the ideal itinerary using planes, trains, buses, and more.

Creative itineraries get you where you need to go, especially if you’ve got a multi-stop trip

Kiwi Guarantee offers rebooking or cancellation protections

Nomad option appeals to travelers with a lot of flexibility

Creative itineraries mean you may not fly out of the same airport you flew into

Kiwi Guarantee has an additional fee

Charges all-in-one fee for booking flights, trains, buses (though you can always purchase a la carte)

Travelers planning multi-city destinations and seeking a bargain, as well as those looking to take planes, trains, and automobiles to get there, might consider Kiwi . Kiwi is a metasearch engine that scours and pieces together itineraries from various airlines (even if they don’t have a codeshare agreement), considers multiple airports (even if your arrival airport is different from departure), and offers booking options, whether you’re looking at very specific dates or more general ones (up to 60 nights).

Some will find the ability to make multiple bookings for a particular trip more convenient than going at it manually several different times, though note that you must opt into the Kiwi Guarantee program to access rebooking and refund protections should your reservation change or be canceled. Kiwi’s Nomad option allows you to plug in a bunch of destinations you’d like to visit and the length of your intended stay, and the website will churn out the most affordable itineraries for review.

Best for Eco-Conscious : Kind Traveler

A give-and-get business model means booking accommodations with exclusive perks, a donation to environmental organizations, and more.

All participating hotels include a local give-back component

Exclusive savings and perks

Participating hotels are located in some of the most beautiful places in the world

Inventory is much smaller compared to other booking platforms

Some of the amenities mentioned are based on availability only

In 2022, Kind Traveler (an online trave agency focused on hotel bookings) announced an increase in environmentally and socially conscious hotels, charity donations, voluntourism opportunities, and additional perks like waived resort fees or a welcome amenity.

Unlock exclusive hotel rates and perks from participating Kind Traveler hotels with a minimum $10/night minimum donation to a local charity. For example, stay at the Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives and receive up to $33 off the nightly rate and perks such as a food and beverage credit and an Earth Lab or Alchemy Bar workshop when you make a donation to Manta Trust. The organization funds coastal research to protect the island nation’s large yet fragile population of reef mantas.

Select from more than 140 participating hotels from the Hawaiian Islands to Bozeman, Montana, and the Maldives. Charities include wildlife, human rights, arts, education, and environmental preservation organizations.

Best for Social Impact : I Like Local

Choose from a host of travel experiences with the peace of mind that 100 percent of the cost goes directly to local partners.

Social impact mission woven into organization’s business model

Immersive experiences led by local guides

Range of experiences offered

May not be best fit for those seeking upscale, luxury experiences and stays

Can’t sort experiences by a list of countries (though an interactive map is available)

No experiences outside of Africa and Asia

For an online travel agency with a booking platform designed to route dollars spent directly to the communities travelers intend to visit, consider I Like Local . Visit the website to browse a host of travel experiences in countries including Indonesia, Kenya, and Cambodia. Experiences include homestays and farmstays as well as wellness and culturally oriented experiences—from cooking and cycling tours to weaving classes.

To search for an experience, select from drop-down items like travel dates and experience categories, or view a global map and click on a country to view experiences that way.

The platform got its start in 2014 and has grown to 4,000 local hosts across nearly 20 countries. As a social impact organization, 100 percent of each booking fee goes to local hosts. To date, 16,000 travelers have booked with I Like Local.

Best for Design-Forward Homestays : Plum Guide

Browse and book seriously vetted, design-forward vacation homes.

Highly curated inventory of vacation rentals across the world

Design-forward

Thorough vetting process

Does not publish guest reviews

Other platforms have homes available across more destinations

When it comes to booking a vacation home, serviced apartment, or condo, travelers are spoiled for choice. Plum Guide is an online travel agency that specializes in accommodations—though not just any home makes its directory. The company claims that each potential home listed on its site must jump through 150 hoops to be included, from internet speed and mattress and pillow quality to the showers’ water pressure and the home’s proximity to dining, shopping, and attractions.

Search by a featured collection on the website such as “ pet-friendly homes ” or “one-of-a-kind homes in Palm Springs.” Scroll to the bottom of its homepage to view its top destinations, as well as a list of all destinations where Plum Guide homes are available, including Barbados, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, the U.S., and Turkey. Note: From the top right-hand corner of the site, use the dropdown menu to select currency of choice.

As long as you know what you value most out of your travel experience—such as affordability, social impact, or luxe accommodations—there’s an online travel agency to help plan your next trip. Be sure to read the fine print, as some agencies are third-party websites and not direct vendors. If you're not sure where to start, Booking.com is your best bet for a smooth user experience and hard-to-beat offers on flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements.

What Is the Biggest Travel Agency?

Our choice for best overall, Booking.com, is known as an industry leader with listings for all major hotels, airlines, car rental companies, and more. It boasts more choices for accommodations per destination than any other site, and we found its interface to be user-friendly.

Are Online Travel Agencies Worth It?

This depends on your needs and priorities. The best online travel agencies certainly can save time by booking everything all at once. However, if you're someone who is good at haggling and enjoys the details of planning a trip, you might be able to find better deals by reaching out to hotels or other destinations and speaking to someone personally.

Is It Cheaper to Book Online Than With a Travel Agent?

Not always. A travel agent you know and trust should have the experience and connections to find deals that can match or surpass what you'll find online. Additionally, if something goes wrong, travel agents provide you with an actual person you can use as an advocate to correct the problem . But if you don't have access to a good travel agent, online sites still provide plenty of ways to streamline planning and save money .

We considered dozens of online travel agencies and narrowed down the options based on user experience, volume and quality of inventory, unique offerings and specials, and customer reviews. We also assessed travel companies’ environmentally and socially conscious policies.

Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

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The 10 Best Online Travel Agencies: The Top OTAs to Connect to in 2024

Lexi DeMers

Lexi DeMers

A man and a woman looking at online travel agencies on a laptop.

Updated: 12 Jun 2024

Online travel agencies don’t just make life easier for travelers. The best online travel agencies also offer a variety of benefits to business owners. From accessing niche markets to the billboard effect, listing your hospitality business on popular travel sites has many perks. 

These sites can help you cover low-season lulls or ensure you maximize your bookings year round. In this article, we’ll cover the best online travel agencies for hoteliers and other accommodation providers, as well as the benefits they offer. Discover how online travel agencies can help you capture your share of the $521 billion online travel market . 

The 10 Online Travel Agencies with the Highest Revenue 

Before you take the time and effort to list your business on a new channel, you’ll want to make sure that it will actually help you gain new guests. Below are the 10 best online travel agencies worldwide by annual revenue , as reported by Statista. 

Booking.com

Edreams odigeo, tripadvisor, manage all your channels with one centralized booking system, a closer look at the best online travel agencies.

All online travel agencies are not created equal. In fact, many channels cater best to specific businesses. Though listing your property on the highest earning online travel agencies is a great strategy, it is even better to understand the markets that each OTA serves.

Booking.com is a global powerhouse in the online travel agency sector. Its expansive platform includes a diverse array of property types, ranging from hostels to resorts to apartments. So it is a great OTA option for a variety of business models. Renowned for its user-friendly interface and extensive property listings, Booking.com attracts travelers from around the world. 

Hotels can seamlessly integrate with this booking engine, streamlining their reservations and room management. On average, Booking.com charges businesses a 15% commission on every booking, though this rate can vary from region to region. 

Expedia is a leading online travel agency known for its global reach and comprehensive travel offerings. This one-stop shop caters to travelers searching for accommodations, flights, car rentals, and vacation packages across the globe. 

Business owners benefit from Expedia's tools like the Partner Central platform, which aids in managing bookings, optimizing rates, and enhancing visibility. Expedia's loyalty program, Expedia Rewards, encourages repeat bookings which is why it is one of the best online travel agencies for hoteliers. However, depending on the region your business is in, Expedia charges 10% to 30% commission. 

Airbnb is a unique online travel agency that connects travelers with a wide range of accommodations, from cozy private rooms to entire homes. While it first gained fame for its home-sharing platform, it has expanded to include boutique hotels and traditional accommodations. As such, it ranks toward the top of our list of the best online travel agencies. 

Accommodation providers can tap into Airbnb's extensive network, reaching guests from around the world. While there are a few different options, most hosts on Airbnb are charged a 3% commission. Meanwhile, Airbnb charges a 14% service fee to guests on top of the nightly rate you set. 

Trivago is one of the best online travel agencies, but getting your property on the site isn’t as straightforward as the other options on this list. Trivago is a metasearch engine that scours the Internet to find the best hotel deals for travelers. It collects hotel listings and prices from various online travel agencies, hotel chains, and booking sites. 

Owners can leverage Trivago by ensuring their listings are well-optimized on other OTAs. Since it doesn't handle bookings directly, Trivago doesn’t charge business owners any commission and instead gets its revenue from other sites that advertise there. 

Despegar is one of the best online travel agencies for the Latin American market. It offers a wide range of travel-related services, including hotel bookings, flights, and car rentals. With a strong presence in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, Despegar gives travelers a convenient platform to plan and book their trips.

Business owners looking to tap into the Latin American market can benefit from listing their properties on Despegar. It allows them to access a diverse and growing customer base while also providing travelers with options tailored to their preferences and language. Hoteliers can expect to pay 10% to 15% in commission on bookings from this site. 

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As one of the largest online travel agencies globally, Trip.com offers a variety of services to travelers. Formerly known as Ctrip, it has a strong presence in the Asian market but has expanded its reach to cater to a diverse international audience. Travelers can use Trip.com to book hotels, flights, trains, car rentals, and other travel-related services. 

Accommodation providers aiming to attract travelers from Asia and beyond can benefit from partnering with Trip.com. As one of the best online travel agencies, it provides access to a vast customer base seeking a variety of accommodation options. By listing on Trip.com, you can expect to pay anywhere between 10% to 25% in commission. 

eDreams Odigeo is a leading European online travel agency that serves as an umbrella for several well-known brands, including eDreams, Opodo, GO Voyages, and Travellink. It caters to travelers seeking a wide range of travel products and services. By partnering with eDreams Odigeo, accommodation providers can tap into the European market and beyond. 

Whether you run a boutique hotel or manage a large resort, listing your property on one of the  eDreams Odigeo sites allows you to reach travelers from various European countries. Depending on the exact site you list your business on, you may pay commission or your guests may pay service fees. 

As a prominent online travel agency in India, MakeMyTrip has a strong foothold in the South Asian market. It offers a range of travel services, including flights, hotels, and holiday packages. By listing your property on MakeMyTrip, you can tap into the growing Indian travel market and attract travelers looking for both domestic and international accommodation options. 

MakeMyTrip's user-friendly interface and extensive marketing efforts make it a valuable platform for reaching travelers across India and the Indian diaspora. After some controversy over excessive rates in 2019, MakeMyTrip pledged to cap its commission at 22% . However, your guests will also be charged a booking fee when making reservations on this site. 

If you're targeting spontaneous travelers or those seeking last-minute deals, Lastminute.com is the best online travel agency to consider. As the name suggests, it specializes in providing travelers with a wide array of last-minute options, from flights and hotels to car rentals and activities. 

On Lastminute.com, you can attract travelers looking for instant bookings, making it an excellent choice for filling short-notice vacancies. This is great for offering discounts during off-peak periods or showcasing special promotions. To learn more about the commission rates Lastminute charges, it's best to reach out to the company directly. 

Tripadvisor is renowned for its comprehensive database of traveler reviews. But it's also a powerful online travel agency, offering an extensive platform for accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. 

By delivering exceptional experiences to your guests, you can earn positive reviews that attract more travelers to your property. Tripadvisor offers various tools for property owners to manage their listings, showcase their amenities, and respond to reviews, ensuring your property's reputation remains stellar. Plus, Tripadvisor only charges owners a 3% commission fee. 

Two people smiling while working together on a computer outside.

What Are the Benefits of Using an Online Travel Agency?

Online travel agencies have revolutionized the way the hospitality industry operates. They offer a wide array of benefits that cater to both travelers and accommodation providers. In this section, we'll explore the key advantages of collaborating with some of the best online travel agencies.

Your business. Your Bookings. Your way.

Higher Booking Volume.   Of course, the main goal of listing your property on an online travel agency is getting more bookings. These sites have large audiences, which can lead to a substantial increase in bookings. 

Market insights. The best online travel agencies provide valuable data and market insights that can help you understand traveler preferences, booking patterns, and trends. In turn, this can inform your pricing, marketing, and property management strategies.

Build an Online Reputation. Many OTAs offer a review system that allows previous guests to share their experiences. Positive reviews and ratings can build trust and credibility, encouraging potential guests to choose your property.

Easier international reach. If you have international guests in mind, the top online travel agencies can help you reach travelers worldwide. They also often support various languages and currencies, making it easier for international guests to book.

Billboard effect. The Billboard Effect describes the phenomenon in which accommodation providers gain more direct bookings on their own websites after listing their property on OTAs. It illustrates that these platforms serve as powerful marketing and distribution channels.

How to Find the Best Online Travel Agencies for Your Business 

While listing your business on all of the best online travel agencies is a smart move, you can go a step further with OTAs. If you want to find the absolute best online travel agencies for your business, you’ll need to identify sites that fit your niche. 

Many OTAs cater to specific audiences, such as Thermal for surf trips and Bookatrekking.com for trekking adventures. There are also great online travel agencies for other niches, including luxury accommodations, yoga retreats, family hotels, and more. Take some time to explore various platforms’ user base and commission rates to determine which OTAs would be best for your business. 

How Can I Manage Multiple OTAs?

While having a presence on multiple OTAs can offer big rewards, having to log into and manage several different platforms is extremely time consuming. Not to mention, you risk double-books and other errors. Thankfully, you can use a channel manager to help streamline your bookings across multiple online travel agencies. 

At Bookinglayer, we offer Channex ; a fully integrated, user-friendly channel manager that allows our clients to maximize their revenue without spending extra time on administration. Channex allows business owners to integrate with up to 35 different platforms while conveniently managing everything from one simple dashboard. 

Want to Learn More About How Bookinglayer Helps Business Owners?

Bookinglayer is an all-in-one software suite designed specifically for adventure travel businesses that have complex booking scenarios. If you want to offer accommodation and activities, Bookinglayer is the most comprehensive platform on the market.

Whether is optimizing your booking flow, automating your payment processing, or streamlining your daily reports, we can help you save time, reduce errors, and increase conversions. You can sign up for a free demo to discover if you are the right fit for our software suite. 

Best Online Travel Agencies FAQ

What is an online travel agency.

An online travel agency is a web-based platform that allows users to research and book a range of travel-related services. Also known as OTAs, these marketplaces display services from various providers. They often include accommodation, flights, rental cars, tours and activities, and more. 

How do online travel agencies work?

Online travel agencies are third-party services that offer users a convenient and easy way to plan and book travel experiences. They aggregate travel services, facilitate bookings, collect payments, and publish reviews. In return, they oftentimes earn a commission from the bookings they sell.  

How do OTAs make money?

OTAs typically make money by charging business owners a commission on the bookings they sell. These commission rates can range from 10% to 30%, depending on the platform you choose and the region you operate in. In addition, some OTAs may also charge customers a service fee to help cover the costs of running the platform. 

What is the downside of using OTAs?

The downside of using an OTA is that you will likely need to pay a commission to the platform. As such, many business owners prefer to collect direct bookings. Nonetheless, the best online travel agencies serve as a great way to advertise your property and can help you increase your revenue despite the commission charges. 

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Best online travel sites 2022

Use the best online travel sites to plan your trip ahead of time so you can enjoy your time away.

Best Online Travel Sites

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The best online travel sites are wonderful not only plan your next trip for peace of mind, they're also a fun way to get excited ahead of your next adventure. You can simply go to one site and plan most of your trip's main parts from flights and hotels to rental cars and excursions. If what you're after is just hotel bookings, check out our list of the best hotel booking sites .

While what many of these sites offer is similar, it's the way in which they do it which is important. The last thing you need is a stress-inducing website when planning to go away to relax and unwind. So we've reviewed the best sites based on their price, of course, but also on the way they work, with the ease of use and clarity as important features. We also checked to make sure you won't suffer any extra charges added on top at the last minute. Plus, we took rewards schemes into account, which could help you save money upfront or in the longer term if you use some sites more than once.

With all that in mind, these are the very best online travel sites out there right now.

The best online travel sites

1. expedia.com: best online travel site overall .

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

Best Online Travel Sites: Expedia

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Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Expedia is a big name in online travel sites and hotel booking services and owns many popular sites like Hotels.com and Hotwire.com. We're fans of the original, though, thanks to its clean and straightforward to use interface. Hit the packages section of the site, and you can add up to five connecting flights, choose to add accommodation for all of or only part of your trip, and tag on car rentals too. 

It's all suitably well laid out, and it only takes a few seconds to start putting together your itinerary. However, we do wish there were a few more options for filtering out accessibility issues. Still, for most people, Expedia.com has everything they'll need, and there's even the option of a cruise too if you fancy it. It's as aspirational to look at as it is useful to, well, use and there are extra discounts for booking multiple parts of your vacation with the site. A Things To Do section rounds off the site's bid to help you plan your entire trip in one place.

2. Booking.com: Best for ease of use

Booking.com

Booking.com

Booking.com is a giant in the world of holiday bookings and not only offers over half a million properties in more than 207 countries but also offers flights and car rental services too. As such you can do it all from this one spot which makes it a very easy-to-use option. That said, there is a lot going on, and the user interface can be a little overwhelming at times. 

But with a superb rewards program, it is a great option that encourages you to keep coming back, making it easier to use as you become accustomed. You can even sort your taxi hire from this site meaning there is very little to think about when you get traveling as it's all been planned ahead of time. You also don't have to pay a booking fee on lots of hotels, allowing you to remain flexible – ideal if you're traveling about a lot on your journey.

3. CheapTickets.com: Best for finding things to do 

Best Online Travel Sites: CheapTickets

CheapTickets.com

CheapTickets is another site acquired by Expedia, but it does things a little differently. You can easily add on flight, hotel, and car or any combination of the three for package deals, although multiple flights are under a different option. So far, so Expedia (if less intuitive), but you can also clearly purchase event tickets from the site, which is far more useful if you want a one-stop-shop place to buy your trip. It's something other sites provide, but CheapTickets is that bit keener to entice you into the process, even if the site itself is a little cheesier looking than others. 

There's also the site's Vacation Value Finder, which lets you tweak how much you're willing to spend and what you're looking for from a vacation before making some fun suggestions. It's perfect for finding a last-minute deal if you don't have your heart set on one place. Students will also appreciate a section dedicated to them with extra discounts once you verify you're a student. All in all, it's a great varied site for numerous different needs. 

4. Priceline.com: Best for user reviews 

Best Online Travel Sites: PriceLine

Priceline.com

Priceline is a big deal in the online travel site world for a good reason. It's effortless to use with options available for flights, cars, hotels, or any combination of the three. It's mildly annoying that Priceline's super cheap Pricebreaker deals don't extend to bundles, so you won't get an incredible bargain like you would if you booked separately. However, combining the set is still a worthwhile deal with discounts offered for the more you bundle together. 

One thing we really appreciated is that every hotel we looked at had dozens of reviews, and they're all from verified customers. It takes seconds to gain a reasonably accurate picture of what to expect from wherever you're considering booking. That's the perfect peace of mind when you're booking online, and you can't be sure of what you're getting without user reviews backing hotel statements up. Clearly laid out, you can focus on enjoying rather than worrying. Finally, Priceline is keen to make its VIP scheme easily accessible with straightforward discounts offered to you over time -- something that not all sites so clearly highlight. 

5. Kayak.com: Best for aggregated results 

Best Online Travel Sites: Kayak

If you're short on time, Kayak is pretty useful. That's because you simply enter where you want to go, and it aggregates results from multiple different sources. While it means you never book directly with Kayak, it does mean you get results quickly and without having to search around yourself, even if you will feel a bit overwhelmed with adverts while you search. 

The site itself looks a little basic, but under the hood is a surprising number of different filters (although no accessibility ones to speak of) and all the critical information you could require, although obviously you'll be sent to another site for the full details. The site also has a deals section, which has some great bargains for things you can do once you reach your destination, along with cheap car rental deals. It might not be pretty, but if you simply don't want to do the groundwork yourself, Kayak has you covered. It can be a real time-saver, and we reckon it's particularly useful if you're mostly researching possible trips in the future and want rough price estimates. Just watch out for the fact you can’t bundle in car rental deals. 

6. Hotwire.com: Best for renting properties 

Best Online Travel Sites: Hotwire

Hotwire keeps things straightforward. All you need to do is enter what you're looking for, and a somewhat dated interface tells you what's available. It's not as pretty as some sites, but we really liked the extensive property type filters available. Want to stay on a houseboat or in a chalet at your destination? Hit the relevant filter, and you can find out if that's an option in the locale. That might not matter if your heart is set on a hotel, but it's a nice bonus even amongst the awkward site layout. 

Elsewhere, it's mostly business as usual, but that's no bad thing. Well laid out discounts are available to compare reasonably quickly, and most locations have plenty of reviews. If you feel like tracking down specific deals, you can do that too, with the site keen to offer up discounts to central locations if you're not quite sure where you'd like to visit next. It feels like the site needs updating when you compare it to its rivals, but it works well and speedily enough.

7. Agoda: Best for private home rental in Asia 

Agoda

Agoda is a great option if you want to look for accommodation that isn't a hotel as this specializes in offering apartments and private rentals. In fact, there are dedicated market managers that work on finding properties, especially in Asia. As such you can find unique destination rentals at decent rates and should you change your mind there is a helpful 24-hour free cancellation policy in place. 

Everything is very easy to use and if you want to make more than one booking you can make great savings. Customer support is also a plus, as there is a 24-hour multilingual customer support service available when booking. With millions of reviews, Agoda makes finding a property very easy with a feeling of trust that can offer great peace of mind.

What to look for in an online travel site

Booking Travel Packages Travel packages can let you combine flights, hotel reservations and car rentals together for a better deal than booking separately. Some companies, like Priceline, pick hotels and flights for you, to get you to your destination for the lowest price. Other companies let you mix and match flights, hotels and car rentals to fit your schedule.

Booking Airfare One of the biggest reasons for searching on a travel site is to find cheap airfare. While there are dozens of airfare-specific websites, travel sites also give you the option to add hotel stays and car rentals. The best travel sites combine flight information from over nine different airlines and let you sort flights by price, number of stops, duration and flight class.

Booking International Travel Finding airfare for international travel is the easiest part of booking an overseas trip. AirGorilla helps you find accommodations and rent GPS units with your rental car, so you can find your way around. Often, sites will recommend hotels that are far from your actual destination or event. Searching for reservations on a site that gives accommodation recommendations will help you schedule an international trip with less stress.

How we tested the best online travel sites

We looked at how easy each site is to use during our testing, such as how quickly the site loaded and how easy it was to find what we were looking for. We considered whether the site felt cluttered with adverts or seemed like a dated interface. We also looked at how easy it was to find Contact Us pages, price guarantee information, and any kind of special deals section. 

We also considered how easily bundle deals could be arranged and how extensive they were and any potential discounts tied to them. We checked filter options to see how flexible and easy it was to look up different needs along the way.

We looked at trips between Los Angeles and Miami, Paris to Lisbon, and New York City to Los Angeles during testing. We also looked at lesser-known routes to see if they were also catered for appropriately.

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Jennifer has been freelancing for over 10 years. In the past, she's written about all things tech and gaming wise for outlets as varied as The Independent, Playboy, Eurogamer, and TechRadar. In her spare time, she spends far too much time watching films, attempting to train her pet guinea pigs, and mastering making the perfect burrito.  She's a full time freelancer, but a regular tech news contributor to Top Ten Reviews.

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Top online travel agencies

Based on Cloudbeds’ data gathered from thousands of customer properties between 2021 (the benchmark used in our last report) and 2023, we’ve seen a remarkable pace of recovery for OTAs. While top OTAs like Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb have held onto their spots as the highest-revenue generating OTAs, we saw China’s Trip.com rise two spots, indicating the return of Asian travelers to the market. Here are the highest revenue-generating OTAs of 2023.

Highest revenue-generating OTAs

1. booking.com.

Booking.com is one of the largest and most popular travel websites in the world, with over 1.5 million nights booked every day. Its website and mobile apps are accessible in 43 languages and feature over 50 million verified guest reviews of properties in 200+ countries. Its parent company, Booking Holdings, includes OTA brands and metasearch engines such as Priceline.com, KAYAK, Agoda, Rentalcars.com, OpenTable and more.

Expedia.com is the flagship brand of Expedia Group, which includes 200 travel booking websites, including Hotwire, Orbitz, Trivago, and Travelocity, serving 75 countries in 35 languages with over 600 million monthly visits. The website includes searches for all types of accommodations, as well as booking flights, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. By activating the Expedia connection, properties will broadcast their inventory on Hotels.com, Wotif, and many other channels.

Airbnb is known for providing access to unique accommodations around the world, with the vast majority of properties located outside of main hotel districts. While the company continues to expand into hotel room inventory following its acquisition of HotelTonight (known for booking last-minute lodging), its community expects a certain type of experience. Namely, something that is less cookie-cutter and more oriented to the local vibe.

4. Hostelworld

HostelWorld is a leading OTA for hostel-focused accommodations worldwide, with 12+ million guest reviews. Their inventory also includes hotels, B&Bs, and other budget accommodation types. Hostelworld aims to be a leader in social travel via its online booking options and mobile app, addressing the needs of guests who want to make connections with others as they experience the world around them. Their app and website operate in 20 different languages.

Agoda was founded in 1998 and later acquired by the Priceline Group (now called Booking Holdings) in 2007. Agoda’s website is available in 38 languages and focuses on listing all types of properties. It’s currently one of the leading online travel booking sites for the Asian market but is pushing into the US, India, and European markets.

6. Trip.com

Trip.com is China’s leading provider of travel services including reservations for accommodation, transportation, tours, and corporate travel. Founded in 1999, the company owns and operates several other OTAs and aggregators, including Trip.com, Skyscanner, Qunar, and Ctrip. 

7. Hotelbeds

By connecting to Hotelbeds, will gain unrivaled exposure to the travel industry’s largest network of B2B buyers, including more than 71,000 tour operators, travel agents, airlines, and loyalty & points schemes which can be great for business travel. 

With over 2 million bookable vacation rentals, Vrbo caters to a diverse range of needs and preferences, offering everything from cozy, intimate cabins for romantic getaways to spacious, well-appointed villas suitable for large family reunions or group vacations.

9. Traveloka

Based in Indonesia, Traveloka is one of Asia’s largest online travel agents. Traveloka lists hundreds of thousands of properties across Southeast Asia, Australia, and around the globe. The company also provides lifestyle products and services, such as tickets to attractions, activities, car rentals, and restaurant vouchers.

10. Despegar/Decolar

Despegar/Decolar is a leading online travel company in Latin America, with Despegar functioning as the global brand and Decolar representing the brand in the Brazilian market. Their marketplace operates across 20 markets and offers a broad suite of travel products in the region, including airfare, hotel bookings, travel packages, and other travel products to a large customer base.

Highest revenue-generating OTAs by country

Based on Cloudbeds data, we’ve highlighted the OTAs that are generating the most revenue for our customers in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Hostelworld has moved up on the list across multiple countries, demonstrating that demand for hostels (jumping 5 spots in Thailand and the Philippines), shared accommodations, and experiences is back. In addition, we can see the return of Asian travelers as Agoda and Trip.com rise in North America and make their first appearance on Latin American lists. 

Top 10 OTAs in the U.S

  • Booking.com
  • Hostelworld 
  • Agoda 
  • HotelTonight 
  • Hotelbeds 

Top 10 OTAs in Canada 

  • Booking.com 
  • Expedia 
  • Dorms.com 
  • Mrs & Mrs Smith
  • Tripadvisor

Top 10 OTAs in Mexico

  • Hostelworld
  • Despegar/Decolar 
  • PriceTravel
  • Mr & Mrs. Smith

Top 10 OTAs in Spain

  • Keytel 
  • Mr & Mrs Smith

Top 10 OTAs in other countries 

Learn more about the top revenue-generating OTAs around the world in our Big Book of OTAs, including:

  • Philippines

Highest niche revenue-generating OTAs

What are niche otas.

Niche OTAs are online travel agencies catering to specific audiences and travel needs. Many niches exist today, including OTAs for skiers, campers or glampers, adventure travelers, luxury travelers, and more.

Niche platforms can be the best online travel agencies as they are built to target more specific guest segments. Once you identify what guest segments make sense for your property, you can look into local partnerships to expand your offerings to provide a more tailored experience that complements your guests’ travel plans. For example, if you have a property close to the beach, you can find local surf instructors to partner with and offer lessons through your booking engine to attract surfers. When the guests check in, you can show them where the best surf is in town to improve the guest experience.

After a guest’s first trip is booked through a niche OTA, the guest will likely forego OTAs for their next trip in favor of booking directly on the hotel website. Niche OTAs are an essential part of any property’s online distribution strategy as they build loyalty and encourage direct bookings, helping hotels make money.

In the niche OTA market, many new channels have emerged over the past few years, especially surf & sport OTAs and luxury OTAs.

Highlighted niche OTAs surf & sports 

The global surfing tourism market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6%, from 9.5 billion USD in 2022 to 17.1 billion USD by 2032. Travelers are increasingly looking for unique experiences, many tailored to specific activities like surfing, and seek out properties that cater to their needs. Today, the top revenue-generating Surf & Sport OTAs include:

Thermal offers a handpicked collection of the best surf trips in the world, with a focus on amazing guides who create one-of-a-kind, authentic experiences.

Good Story has an inventory of surf hotels and internationally recognized surf schools and camps for both novice and experienced surfers. 

Surf Holidays provides unique places to stay with quality local surf instruction to deliver the surf holiday of a lifetime on some of the best breaks in the world. 

Luex Surf & Snow Travel connects travelers with operators/ suppliers of once-in-a-lifetime sports travel experiences and products.

KiteSurfHolidays.com specializes in kitesurfing holidays, including accommodations and kitesurfing schools.

Highlighted niche OTAs luxury

In May 2023, Deloitte reported that the luxury travel industry had rebounded to pre-pandemic levels and is currently thriving, with a global market value of 1.2 trillion USD. Bookings at five-star hotels rose 19% over the first three quarters of 2021, and luxury travelers are more keen than ever to experience “Instagram-worthy” experiences in unique and remote locations. 

The following OTAs cater to travelers looking for luxury accommodations:

Mr & Mrs Smith includes a collection of carefully curated hotels that are first anonymously evaluated and visited by staff. This exclusive OTA works on an invitation-only basis. 

Prestigia is made up of hand-selected quality and unique hotels from all over the world. This OTA offers the best price guarantees, promotions, and exclusive offers. 

icastelli.net luxurious, historical, and unique high-level hotels are the property types found on this OTA. Collections include exclusive boutique hotels, golf hotels, spa hotels, and more.

i-escape provides unforgettable travel experiences, including eco-retreats, safari lodges, and boutique hotels. Also included is an award-winning booking system with a direct dialogue between guests and property and free advice from travel consultants. 

Tablet Hotels the official hotel selection of the MICHELIN Guide. This OTA showcases hotels that provide meaningful experiences to guests, regardless of budget. 

Spotlight – LGBTQIA+ OTAS

The global LGBTQIA+ travel market is valued at over $568.5 billion USD annually . While many countries have become increasingly welcoming to the queer community, discrimination is still prevalent today. A Booking.com study revealed that 58% of LGBTQ+ travelers face discrimination while traveling, and 41% canceled a trip within the past year after seeing their destination wasn’t LGBTQ+ friendly. 

 OTAs like ebab have emerged to offer safe and friendly accommodations to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Top OTAs by property type

Our data shows that while the top global OTAs dominate across almost all property types, some OTAs offer more opportunities for specific property types.

Channels such as Hostelworld have traditionally been popular for searching for hostels, while channels such as Vrbo and Airbnb have catered to vacation rentals. However, we’ve seen that our hotel customers are increasingly adopting Airbnb as part of their channel mix. Airbnb welcomes hotels that have a unique, independent environment and style.

Download our Big Book of OTAs to see the list of the five most popular channel connections by property type, including:

  • Most popular channel connections for Hotels & Boutiques
  • Most popular channel connections for Hostels
  • Most popular channel connections for Vacation Rentals
  • Most popular channel connections for Bed & Breakfasts

The Big Book of OTAs

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  • Property Name *
  • Property Type * Property type* Hotel Bed and Breakfast Hostel Apartment Groups Vacation Homes Alternative Accommodations
  • How many listings do you have?
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  • Increase revenue
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  • Property Type Property type* Hotel Bed and Breakfast Hostel Apartment Groups Vacation Homes Alternative Accommodations
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The Complete Guide to Booking Travel Online

What is an online travel agency, and what are the best sites and apps to use to search for hotels and flights we break it all down for you..

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The Complete Guide to Booking Travel Online

There’s a lot to navigate when researching and booking travel online.

Photo by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

My first travel adventure was to Venezuela. I booked the ticket with a travel agent over a pay phone. The agent searched a dozen flight itineraries over a few days, all so I could save $15.

Times have changed. Today, flight searches start online , often on your mobile device. Passengers book either directly with the airline or hotel or with online travel agencies. Rarely do we get on the phone. In fact, American Airlines and United Airlines charge $25 to make a domestic flight booking by phone. And pay phones hardly exist anymore.

So, what is the best way to book online? Here is our complete guide to online travel agencies, search tools, and the variety of booking options available on both mobile devices and desktops.

What is an OTA?

An online travel agency, or OTA, is a website or mobile app that allows users to search for and book travel services such as flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities. The booking is made directly with the online travel agency but confirmed by the service provider, such as an airline or a hotel. As a customer, your relationship is with the OTA.

What are the main OTAs?

Many online travel agencies nowadays are owned by two main companies: Expedia and Priceline. The Expedia Group is the largest online travel agency in the United States with 70 percent market share, according to travel data firm Phocuswright. Expedia Group operates Expedia.com , Orbitz, Hotels.com , Trivago, CheapTickets , Hotwire , Vrbo , and Travelocity .

Priceline is a major competitor to Expedia, with global revenues larger than the Expedia Group. The company owns Priceline.com, Booking.com, Cheapflights, Momondo, and Kayak—the latter two being metasearch engines (more on that below).

There are also independent newcomers such as Hopper (a mobile-only booking tool) and Kiwi.com (which allows you to book flights on air carriers that don’t normally have a commercial relationship).

Are OTA fares lower than booking directly?

Generally, no. The fares that are displayed by an OTA will be similar if not slightly more expensive when compared to an airline’s website. They’re usually only a few dollars higher or lower. The OTAs charge a booking fee to the airlines, and often that fee is passed directly to consumers. For example, Lufthansa tacks on an additional $18 to any booking made through an OTA for Lufthansa flights. The same flights are exactly $18 cheaper on the airline’s website.

Where you can score a good travel deal through an OTA is when booking a last-minute hotel and flight package. Many OTAs have cut agreements with airlines allowing last-minute travelers to access lower rates than are typically available when passengers book a flight alone.

Are all airlines available to be booked through OTAs?

No. Many OTAs do not display flights from some of the low-fare leaders. For example, Southwest and Allegiant flights are not available through OTAs; the same goes for Ryanair in Europe. And, earlier this year United Airlines threatened to pull out of Expedia altogether, only recently signing a multi-year agreement to stay in. The airlines would rather not lose any margin to online travel agencies in an already low-margin industry and would rather maintain a direct relationship with the customer.

Are smaller OTAs safe to use?

Expedia and Priceline are the two largest players in the online booking space, but there are dozens of independent OTAs, such as CheapOAir, OneTravel, JustFly, and SmartFares. Confusingly, you might actually stumble on ads for these OTAs while using Expedia or Priceline sites. That’s because the larger OTAs earn revenue through advertising, sending passengers to smaller OTAs and charging those OTAs for the favor.

Buyer beware: some of these lesser-known OTAs are masters at hidden fees. For example, a flight search on JetBlue allows for free seat selection in many instances. If you perform the same search on FlightNetwork, an independent OTA, and select a seat, you will be charged an additional $25—despite the fact that JetBlue doesn’t charge a seat selection fee if you book directly.

What if you need to change your itinerary?

Itinerary changes are often a pain. If your plans change, it won’t matter whether you’ve booked directly with an airline or with an OTA—you’re going to pay fees for the privilege, if you can even change your ticket at all.

For example, CheapTickets.com, which is part of the Expedia Group, charges $25 to change or cancel a ticket if that change is requested after 24 hours of making the booking—it is free if you do so within 24 hours of booking. However, the fees go up from there. JustFly, an independent OTA, charges a $75 fee for changes to domestic flights in addition to airline change fees, plus the difference in fare, for tickets that can be changed. For an international trip, the fee rises to $200. That means to change an international flight with Delta (which charges a $100 change fee) booked through JustFly, you’ll be assessed $300 in fees, plus the difference in fare. At that rate, you may as well book a new flight. FlightNetwork indicates in its terms of service that changes may incur a change fee but doesn’t specify what those fees are. That hardly makes the few dollars you saved by booking with the OTA in the first place worth it.

What is an OTA price match policy?

To assure travelers that they are getting the lowest fare possible, many OTAs have a price match policy. The rules vary and so do the benefits.

For example, if you book with Orbitz and find a less expensive flight, car rental, or activity on any U.S.-based website within 24 hours of your booking, Orbitz will refund you the difference you paid. And it works: I have personally found a flight in the same class, on the same airline, for the same origin and destination cities, and requested Orbitz to refund the difference of around $35. Within a few weeks, I received a check in the mail. A similar program applies for CheapOAir, but there’s a catch—the price difference must be found on a major OTA such as Expedia or Travelocity.

Expedia has a particularly good price match policy, but you have to pay extra for it at the time of booking. Expedia offers the price match option as an add-on that costs between $5 and $30 when you book. With the price match applied, if the airfare on Expedia drops between 120 days of the flight and up to six hours before the flight, Expedia will automatically refund you the difference in fare. Unfortunately, fares generally do not drop substantially as the travel date approaches, so while this might give you peace of mind, it’s probably not worth the expense.

How do Google Flights and other travel metasearch engines work?

Frequent fliers are likely familiar with websites such as Google Flights, Kayak, Momondo, or Skyscanner. On these websites, passengers search on the site but are redirected to the service provider to complete the booking, such as an airline, rental car company, or hotel.

Metasearch started with a product called ITA Matrix, which is a tool for searching airfares online but not for actually booking online. ITA Matrix allows for multi-city searching, such as setting two different departure or arrival airports, and for offering a calendar view of fares for easier comparison. That company was acquired by Google in 2011, and savvy travelers swear by it to help find the least expensive fares online. Most consumers are more familiar with Google Flights, which has gained traction more recently not least because it has the benefit of being displayed first in search results on Google.

Metasearch engines receive distribution fees from the airlines for sending traffic to the supplier websites. There are no additional hidden fees for using a metasearch engine because you’re booking directly with the airline or hotel.

A major benefit of the metasearch engines is their price tracking tool, which lets users know whether the displayed fares are low, average, or high for the flight, allowing travelers to make a more informed decision on whether to book a flight or not . Google Flights and Kayak, for instance, both have price tracking tools.

Why not just book directly?

The airlines would definitely much rather you book directly with them. Over the past five years, they have gotten much better at marketing and selling their product directly to consumers online and through mobile sites and apps. But in the past, they weren’t so good at it. In fact, Delta, Northwest, United, American, and Continental got together to invest $145 million to launch Orbitz in 1999 to counter the threat from Expedia. Now Orbitz is owned by Expedia.

The airlines also try to encourage customers to book directly so that they can maintain a closer relationship with them. It allows carriers to connect bookings with loyalty programs and create special offers and discounts catered to individual passengers.

There is another benefit to booking directly. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires carriers to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty, so long as the booking is made at least seven days before travel. The law applies, however, only to U.S. and foreign air carriers that have websites marketed to U.S. consumers. This means that, in theory, an online travel agency does not have to offer such a policy, although most OTAs do.

What are the options for booking on your mobile device?

Airlines and the major OTAs all have apps to help you book and manage your trip on your mobile device, but their functionality is lacking compared to these websites’ desktop editions. For example, Expedia’s app doesn’t allow you to view flights on a month-view calendar. Kayak has an app with more bells and whistles and a better user interface, including a month-view calendar with color-coded pricing. It also has a handy “augmented reality” function to help you see if your carry-on bag will fit in the overhead bin (a feature originally developed by KLM). Point your phone’s camera at the luggage, and it’ll give you the dimensions.

While apps are improving and gaining in popularity, you still might find it easier to locate the best deals on flights and hotels by using your desktop, where you can have multiple tabs open and have all the available search tools at your disposal. Apps are fine for booking directly with an airline once you know which flights you want to book.

If you’re determined to use your mobile device, you may want to look into Hopper. Hopper is a mobile-first flight booking tool that has a solid price prediction tool. You can research travel options and book directly on the app. Another benefit of Hopper: Of its team of 300 employees, nearly half are dedicated to customer support and are based in Canada versus some OTAs and airlines that outsource much of their customer service further afield.

The bottom line?

Like many travelers, I enjoy a flight deal as much as the next person, but I also don’t like any added hassle. I typically start my travel searches using the ITA Matrix or Google Flights to get a general sense of the fares. It helps to know what is a good deal and what is expensive for a particular route. I do my research, typically on a desktop computer. When I’m ready to book, I’ll book directly with the airline. I’ve found that customer service is better when booking directly with the service provider. But I’ve also saved money by using OTAs and have booked with them, too. Whichever way you choose to book, you can be safe in the knowledge that finding and purchasing travel online is a lot easier today than searching for a deal with a travel agent on a pay phone.

>> Next: How to Get the Best Last-Minute Travel Deals

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10 Most impactful travel technology companies in 2024

1. travelperk.

  • Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain
  • Other office locations: London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Berlin, Chicago, Boston, Miami
  • Number of employees: 1,200
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $513 million

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2. getyourguide.

  • Headquarters: Berlin, Germany
  • Other office locations: 18 global offices, including Vienna, Bangkok, New York  City, Dubai, and more
  • Number of employees: 700+
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $878 million over 11 rounds

3. Tripadvisor

  • Headquarters: Needham, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Other office locations: 18 global offices, including New York City, London, Milan, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, and more 
  • Number of employees: 2,845
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $303.3 million over 5 rounds

4. Booking.com

  • Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Other office locations: Manchester, Tel Aviv, Singapore, New York, Shanghai
  • Number of employees: 23,600

5. Hotel Engine

  • Headquarters: Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Other office locations: Glendale, Colorado
  • Number of employees: 500+
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $81 million over 2 rounds

6. Lighthouse (formerly OTA Insight)

  • Headquarters: London, UK
  • Other office locations: Singapore, Ghent, Berlin, London, Dallas, Denver, Sydney
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $115 million over 6 rounds
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States of America
  • Other office locations: Los Angeles, New York City, Berlin, Paris, and more
  • Number of employees: 6,907
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $6.4 billion over 30 rounds

8. Blablacar

  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Other office locations: Madrid, Warsaw, Kyiv, São Paulo
  • Number of employees: 600
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $565 million over 11 rounds

9. Timeshifter

  • Headquarters: Water Mill, New York, USA
  • Other office locations: Southampton, New York, USA
  • Number of employees: 11-20
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $4.9 million over 3 rounds
  • Other office locations: Prague, Beijing, London, New York
  • Number of employees: 300
  • Funding: Raised a total of US $480 million over 8 rounds

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20 largest travel companies in the world.

In this article, we will be covering the 20 largest travel companies in the world. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of the travel and tourism industry, you can go directly to 5 Largest Travel Companies In The World .

The travel and tourism sector plays a vital role in global economies. It creates jobs, fosters cultural exchange, and supports local businesses. It promotes understanding between nations while also contributing significantly to GDP growth. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism accounted for 7.6% of global GDP in 2022 while also creating 22 million new jobs around the world.

An Analysis of the Global Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism sector plays a crucial role in addressing societal and economic challenges. The industry is now thriving after being severely impacted during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, which led to travel restrictions, cancellations, and a sharp decline in tourism activities. According to a report by Market Research Future, the global travel and tourism market reached a value of $648.03 billion in 2023. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from 2023 to 2032 and reach a value of more than $1.01 trillion by the end of the forecasted period. The North American region leads the global travel and tourism market, while Europe follows as the second-largest market. The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth in the industry during the forecasted period.

The travel and tourism market is undergoing a digital transformation with online booking platforms, travel agencies, mobile apps, and online travel-related services driving growth by enhancing connectivity and providing convenient and personalized traveler experiences. The trend of cultural and experiential tourism, with travelers seeking authentic, immersive experiences, unique destinations, and local experiences, is also a key factor driving market growth. Moreover, the rise in disposable incomes, especially in emerging markets, is leading to increased tourism. More people have the means to explore domestic and international destinations. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), domestic visitor spending saw an increase of 20.4% in 2022. On the other hand, international visitor spending went up by 81.9% in 2022.

What are Some of the Biggest Companies in the Travel and Tourism Industry Up To?

Prominent companies in the travel and tourism industry are actively pursuing various strategies to expand their global presence and increase their profitability. Some of the most notable names are Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR ), Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT ), and Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG ).

Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) is one of the world’s largest providers of online travel and related services. It provides online travel services in more than 220 countries through its brands which include Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, KAYAK, and OpenTable. Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) is also one of the best travel stocks to buy . On February 22, Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) reported strong earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2023. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $32, surpassing EPS estimates by $1.95. The company’s revenue for the quarter grew by 18.15% year-over-year and amounted to $4.78 billion, ahead of market consensus by $73.37 million. Here are some comments from Booking Holdings Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BKNG) Q4 2023 earnings call:

“As we look to the year ahead, we see strong growth on the books for travel that’s scheduled to take place in 2024, which gives early indications of potentially another record summer travel season. As we’ve noted previously, a high percentage of these bookings are capable and what is on the books today for the summer period represents a small percentage of the total bookings that we expect to ultimately receive. David will provide further details on fourth quarter results and on our thoughts about the first quarter and full year 2024. Looking back at the full year of 2023, I am proud of our efforts to drive more benefits to our travelers and supply partners while also delivering record-setting industry-leading financial results. We reached a significant milestone last year with our customers’ booking an all-time high of over 1 billion room nights on our platform, which was an increase of 17% versus 2022.”

As the demand for travel and tourism continues to grow, companies operating in this space are launching new products, engaging in mergers and acquisitions, increasing investments, and forming contracts and collaborations. Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) is an American multinational hospitality company. It operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts in more than 130 countries around the world. On March 7, Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Victoria Park Hotels Ltd. to launch The Park Lane Hong Kong, Autograph Collection. This new addition is set to become part of Autograph Collection Hotels by early 2025. Autograph Collection Hotels’ portfolio includes more than 300 independent properties in some of the most desirable locations around the world. Situated within a 28-story mixed-use complex featuring retail spaces on the lower floors, the new hotel is projected to have 820 guest rooms, an executive lounge, 3 unique dining venues, extensive event spaces spanning over 1,700 square meters, and various recreational facilities. Some of the guest rooms will boast stunning views of Victoria Harbour, while others will overlook the city or Victoria Park in Hong Kong.

On February 7, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) announced an exclusive strategic partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) that will introduce guests of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) to a wide range of hotels in some of the most popular destinations around the world. This collaboration will significantly enhance Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE:HLT) luxury offerings as unique SLH properties become part of the esteemed Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and LXR Hotels & Resorts brands.

Now that we have discussed what’s going on in the global travel and tourism industry, let’s take a look at the 20 largest travel companies in the world.

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Methodology

In this article, we have listed the 20 largest travel companies in the world. To find the top travel companies in the world, we sifted through various sources including industry reports, our own rankings in addition to rankings available on various websites, and consulted stock screeners from Yahoo Finance and Finviz. For companies that are publicly traded, we decided to rank them according to their market capitalization as of March 9. We used fiscal year revenues to rank the companies that are not publicly traded. For foreign companies, we converted the market caps and revenues to US dollars according to their respective exchange rates, as of March 9. Finally, we narrowed down our selection to rank the 20 largest travel companies in the world based on their market capitalization and revenues, which are listed below in ascending order.

20. Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. ( NYSE: HST )

Market Capitalization: $14.9 Billion

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE:HST) is a major American lodging real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in hotels. It owns a diverse portfolio of luxury and upper-upscale hotels. Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE:HST) has a market capitalization of $14.9 billion as of March 9, 2024.

19. Hyatt Hotels Corporation ( NYSE: H )

Market Capitalization: $16.12 Billion

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) is an American multinational hospitality company. As one of the world’s top hospitality companies, it manages and franchises luxury and business hotels, resorts, and vacation properties in more than 70 countries across 6 continents. As of March 9, 2024, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) has a market capitalization of $16.12 billion.

18. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC ( NYSE: IHG )

Market Capitalization: $17.4 Billion

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE:IHG) is a British multinational hospitality company. With more than 6,000 hotels in over 100 countries, it is one of the world’s leading hotel companies. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE:IHG) has a market capitalization of $17.4 billion as of March 9, 2024. It ranks 18th on our list of the 20 biggest travel companies in the world.

17. Expedia Group Inc. ( NASDAQ: EXPE )

Market Capitalization: $18.5 Billion

Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) is an American travel technology company. As one of the top travel agencies in the world, it owns and operates various brands including Expedia, Hotels.com, CarRentals.com, Vrbo, Travelocity, Trivago, Orbitz, Ebookers, CheapTickets, and Expedia Cruises. As of March 9, 2024, Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) has a market capitalization of $18.5 billion.

16. Southwest Airlines Co. ( NYSE: LUV )

Market Capitalization: $20.44 Billion

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) is an American airline company. It offers low-cost air travel service with frequent flights of mostly short routes. As one of the biggest travel companies in the world, Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) has a market capitalization of $20.44 billion as of March 9, 2024.

15. Qatar Airways Group

Revenue: $21 Billion

Qatar Airways Group is the flag carrier of Qatar. Owned by the Government of Qatar, it is one of the world’s top airlines and it currently flies to over 170 international destinations. Qatar Airways Group generated an annual revenue of $21 billion in the year 2022-2023. It ranks among the top 15 on our list of the 20 largest travel companies in the world.

14. Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL )

Market Capitalization: $21.38 Billion

Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) is a British-American cruise operator. As one of the world's largest leisure travel companies, it owns some of the most well-known cruise line brands in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Australia. Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) has a market capitalization of $21.38 billion as of March 9, 2024.

13. Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited (SEHK:0027)

Market Capitalization: $21.83 Billion

Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited (SEHK:0027) is one of Asia’s top developers and operators of integrated entertainment and resort facilities. It owns and operates a broad portfolio of integrated resort, retail, dining, hotel, and gaming facilities in Macau. As one of the top travel companies in the world, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited (SEHK:0027) has a market capitalization of $21.83 billion as of March 9, 2024.

12. Delta Air Lines Inc. ( NYSE: DAL )

Market Capitalization: $27.17 Billion

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) is one of America’s major airlines. It is also one of the world’s largest airlines by number of passengers carried. As one of the top travel companies in the world, Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) has a market capitalization of $27.17 billion as of March 9, 2024.

11. Amadeus IT Group S.A. (BME:AMS)

Market Capitalization: $27.31 Billion

Amadeus IT Group S.A. (BME:AMS) is a Spanish multinational technology company that develops technology and software for airlines, travel agencies, hotels, payment providers, and other travel-related businesses to enhance their operations and customer experiences. With a presence in more than 190 countries, the company provides software solutions for the global travel and tourism industry. As of March 9, 2024, Amadeus IT Group S.A. (BME:AMS) has a market capitalization of $27.31 billion.

10. Trip.com Group Limited ( NASDAQ: TCOM )

Market Capitalization: $28.27 Billion

Trip.com Group Limited (NASDAQ:TCOM) is a multinational travel service company that ranks among the top 10 on our list of the largest travel companies in the world. It owns and operates several travel agencies and travel fare aggregators including Ctrip, Qunar, Trip.com and Skyscanner. As of March 9, 2024, Trip.com Group Limited (NASDAQ:TCOM) has a market capitalization of $28.27 billion.

9. Ryanair Holdings plc ( NASDAQ: RYAAY )

Market Capitalization: $32.3 Billion

Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) is an Irish airline company. As one of Europe's largest airline groups, it is the parent company of Ryanair, Ryanair UK, Buzz, Lauda, and Malta Air. With a market capitalization of $32.3 billion as of March 9, 2024, Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) ranks 9th on our list of the 20 largest travel companies in the world.

8. Emirates Group

Revenue: $32.6 Billion

Emirates Group is Dubai’s state-owned international aviation holding company. It owns Dubai National Air Travel Agency (dnata), an airport and ground services company, and Emirates Airline, one of the largest airlines in the Middle East. Emirates Group generated an annual revenue of $32.6 billion in the year 2022-2023.

7. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. ( NYSE: RCL )

Market Capitalization: $32.71 Billion

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) is a global cruise holding company that owns and operates cruise brands including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. As one of the world’s largest cruise line operators, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) has a global fleet of 65 ships traveling to around 1,000 destinations around the world. The company has a market capitalization of $32.71 billion as of March 9, 2024.

6. Las Vegas Sands Corp. ( NYSE: LVS )

Market Capitalization: $38.81 Billion

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is an American casino and resort company that owns and operates integrated resorts in Macao and Singapore. As a driver of valuable leisure and business tourism, it is one of the world’s largest hotel and casino companies. With a market capitalization of $38.81 billion as of March 9, 2024, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) ranks 6th on our list of the 20 largest travel companies in the world.

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Explore > Company > News > Sabre and Expedia Announce Expedia’s Acquisition of Travelocity

Sabre and Expedia Announce Expedia’s Acquisition of Travelocity

Expedia, Inc. acquires the Travelocity brand and other associated assets from Sabre Corporation

BELLEVUE, Wash and SOUTHLAKE, Texas – January 23, 2015 – Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) today announced that Expedia, Inc. has acquired Travelocity from Sabre Corporation for $280 million in cash. The acquisition follows the 2013 strategic marketing agreement between Expedia, Inc. and Travelocity under which Expedia has powered the technology platforms for Travelocity’s US and Canadian websites along with providing Travelocity access to Expedia, Inc.’s supply and customer service program.

“Travelocity is one of the most recognized travel brands in North America, offering thousands of travel destinations to more than 20 million travelers per month,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer. “The strategic marketing agreement we’ve had in place has been a marriage of Travelocity's strong brand with our best-in-class booking platform, supply base, and customer service. Evolving this relationship strengthens the Expedia Inc. family’s ability to continue to innovate and deliver the very best travel experiences to the widest set of travelers, all over the world.”

“Our primary focus at Sabre is to provide mission-critical software solutions to our global airline, hospitality, and travel agency customers – and to help them support their customers every day,” said Tom Klein, Sabre President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have had a long and fruitful partnership with Expedia, most recently by partnering to strengthen the Travelocity business, so our decision to divest Travelocity is a logical next step for us both.”

Forward-looking Statements. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to expected benefits of the acquisition agreement. These statements are based on management’s expectations as of the date hereof and assumptions which are inherently subject to uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual results and the timing and outcome of events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including, among others, the ability of Expedia, Inc. to successfully implement plans for the Travelocity brand, or meet forecasts and other expectations, as well as other risks detailed in Expedia, Inc.’s public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Expedia, Inc.’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking or other statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

ABOUT EXPEDIA, INC.

Expedia, Inc. is one of the world's largest travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:

  • Expedia.com®, the world's largest full service online travel agency with localized sites in 31 countries
  • Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with localized sites in more than 60 countries
  • Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers opaque deals in 12 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia
  • Egencia®, the world's fifth largest corporate travel management company
  • eLong™, a leading mobile and online travel service provider in China
  • Venere.com™, an online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
  • trivago®, a leading online hotel metasearch company with sites in 49 countries
  • The Wotif Group, a leading operator of travel brands in the Asia-Pacific region, including Wotif.com®, lastminute.com.au®, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct®, LateStays.com, GoDo.com.au and Arnold Travel Technology
  • Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in hundreds of destinations worldwide
  • Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
  • Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of 180 franchise locations across North America
  • CarRentals.com™, the premier car rental booking company on the web.

The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.

ABOUT SABRE CORPORATION

Sabre® Corporation is a leading technology provider to the global travel and tourism industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than $100 billion of estimated travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre operates offices in approximately 60 countries around the world.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Expedia, Inc.

Sarah Gavin

(425) 679-8917

[email protected]

Sabre Communications

Nancy St. Pierre

682-605-3864

[email protected]

Expedia, Inc. Investor Relations

(425) 679-3759

[email protected]

Expedia, Inc. Communications

(425) 679-4317

[email protected]

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How Can Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) Work Towards a More Sustainable Travel Future? | Part 1 of 3

world's leading online travel service

This is our first post in a series of three articles delving deeper into how the world’s leading Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are addressing the growing customer demand for sustainable travel choices. As climate change affects human movement, there will be increased calls for more sustainable options to explore the world.

The first essay explores the state of today’s travelers and their changing attitudes and behaviors towards sustainable travel preferences. This includes an overview of the latest consumer research with data-driven insights in this field, as well as a quick summary of the major hurdles that make it challenging for OTAs to address these needs.

Check out subsequent posts in this series to learn about A) the concrete products, services, and initiatives major OTAs have launched thus far to cater to rising sustainability concerns of travelers and B) what OTAs can do in the future to better serve their customers in making sustainable travel choices.

The Rising Sustainability Concerns of Travelers

With each passing year, the impacts of climate change grow more dire. Record-breaking temperatures across the globe have resulted in forest fires, floods, famine, and other unprecedented disasters. In the midst of so much uncertainty, people are becoming more aware of how their choices and decisions affect the world at large.

In the era of globalization, people are more connected than ever before. Loved ones span continents. Folks are constantly on the move, seeking out experiences and adventure. While the ability to traverse the globe is undeniably attractive, tourism is responsible for a minimum of 8% of global CO2 emissions . As the public wakes up to this foreboding reality, the time to act has become more pressing than ever.

Travelers are increasingly expressing their desires to make smarter, more sustainable travel choices. While this is the case, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will follow through with action. However, in response to this growing concern, travel providers, which include OTAs, are launching or exploring sustainable travel offers. It remains to be seen whether or not said offers will serve the needs of travelers or how existing ones might be improved. We will explore these questions in our article series.

For starters, it is imperative we take a closer look at today’s travelers. There have been several research reports published by travel brands, such as Booking.com, Skyscanner, and Expedia, all of which have produced invaluable insights. Across these different reports, the same sentiment was expressed: sustainability is top of mind for the majority of travelers, as you can see in the chart below.

OTAs-1

Of those surveyed, the vast majority shared that they are actively seeking out more sustainable options when it comes to travel. For YouGov , 53% feel this way. In fact, upwards of 90% of travelers do, according to Expedia .

Sustainability has arrived at the forefront of travel decisions. Respondents in more than one survey expressed that the topic is important to them. In 2021, a Skyscanner survey evidenced that 65% of people had this opinion, while in 2022, 85% of respondents to a Booking.com survey shared the same response.

Sustainability is also a hot topic when it comes to decision-making, factoring in heavily as consumers plan trips. In fact, three-quarters of respondents expressed that they want to see and access more information regarding sustainability from travel providers to help make said decisions. Specifically, 75% of respondents in the aforementioned Expedia survey had this opinion, and in 2021, 60% shared this sentiment, according to Skyscanner.

Furthermore, more than half of all travelers confirmed that they would travel more sustainably in the future—71% according to Booking.com, 53% according to YouGov, and 65% according to Expedia.

With all these insights in mind, it seems quite obvious that more and more travelers demand OTAs to offer greener travel options. We will explore what this could look like.

But before going there, it’s not enough to just analyze survey data. We need to understand the actual behaviors of travelers since the aforementioned survey data must be taken with a grain of salt.

The Major Challenges To Sustainable Travel

There are three factors that weaken the idea that it’s easy for OTAs to cater to the desire for more sustainable travel options. This is due to the fact that most travelers are hesitant to actually book these offers.

Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case.

1. There is a cognitive dissonance

It has been evidenced that there is a wide discrepancy between the alleged desire of consumers to travel sustainably and their actual behavior. In a 2020 research experiment conducted by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub and flight booking mobile app Hopper, actual Hopper users that expressed an interest in booking more sustainable flights were given the chance to offset their flights’ carbon emissions. However, only a tiny minority of users actually followed through.

Unfortunately, such real-world consumer behavior shows that there is a frustrating paradox faced by companies when it comes to the introduction of more sustainable offerings. This is especially pronounced in the travel context, a space where budget hunters are looking to cut costs.

Undoubtedly, the majority of consumers have positive attitudes toward eco-friendly products and services, as we learned before. But most people won’t put their money where their mouth is. This cognitive dissonance in the travel context is being increasingly studied, especially in the aforementioned case of whether people are actually offsetting the CO2 emissions of their flights.

OTAs-2

According to surveys from multiple sources, up to one-third of travelers expressed that they pay to offset their flights ( 16% according to Skyscanner, 25% as reported by YouGov , and 30% as surveyed by McKinsey ). However, when we look at the actual number of flights being offset by travelers, as reported by airlines or offsetting organizations, the figures reported are far lower.

  • According to Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary , only 1% of his passengers pay an extra €2 fee to offset their flight’s emissions.
  • IATA reported that in 2019, just 1% of passengers offset their carbon emissions through voluntary programs.
  • In 2021, Atmosfair reported that each year roughly one million people offset their emissions from travel. This sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that US airlines alone carried 674 million passengers in 2021. This translates to clearly less than 1%.
  • Even more worrisome is a study that used real data from an undisclosed European airline in March 2022, which found that the willingness to pay for voluntary offset was 0%. And the “average-mean willingness to pay” was a mere 1€ per person.

2. Travel is not a top priority when it comes to sustainability for most people

There is another reason why consumers hold back from making more sustainable travel decisions thus far. When it comes to sustainability, travel simply isn’t the primary concern for people looking to change the way they live.

Instead, folks might consider taking a cold shower or turning off the lights in order to use less energy. Rarely do people want to cut back on their much-deserved holiday plans.

This idea was recently evidenced in a 2022 Deloitte survey : In a list of 21 options describing actions that consumers can take to lead a more sustainable life, travel and transport ranked very low. For example, 75% of those surveyed said they want to reduce household and food waste (#1), while “only” 34% shared that they want to reduce air travel (#14).

OTAs-3

It’s no secret that travel is low on the priority list for consumers wishing to lead sustainable lives. This is important to keep in mind amid survey results suggesting that “71% of consumers say that they want to travel more sustainably” (Booking.com). This result still ranks lower than other consumer choices and behaviors.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that sustainability is a “positive social pressure” topic in general, one that survey respondents feel they should care about a lot.

While this is the case, people want to hold high sustainability standards while not necessarily acting accordingly. In turn, survey data, as presented at the beginning of this article, might skew optimistically and trend towards the positive.

3. Travelers face hurdles when it comes to making sustainable travel choices

There’s a lot to take into consideration. Given the aforementioned points, OTAs might believe that it is too difficult to incentivize sustainable travel choices. As a result, it might not be worth it at all or something to just have on paper to appear environmentally conscious to consumers.

However, this is just an excuse. Yes, cognitive dissonance, alongside the deprioritization of travel as a place to make sustainable decisions, affects how people behave. Despite this, travelers face several challenges across today’s travel booking journeys, all of which add another dimension of complexity.

Survey results from several previously mentioned research reports in the travel context confirm this.

OTAs-4

The reasons that consumers feel are keeping them from traveling more sustainably include:

  • 80% of consumers said they felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start looking for sustainable travel options, according to Expedia. This is understandable, given that in the case of flight emissions, for instance, several methodologies for calculation exist . Since the total emissions of a flight depend on variables such as the aircraft model, engine type, and age of aircraft, it is very hard for travelers to grasp differences between stated emissions on booking pages—something a rising number of OTAs have started listing on their platforms as we will explore in the second article of this series.
  • Additionally, 69% of travelers think that the selection of sustainable travel options is insufficient, as Booking.com found out. This emphasizes the point that travelers expect more sophisticated options to book greener travel choices these days—we will get into this in the final article of this series.
  • And ultimately, two-thirds find sustainable travel options simply too expensive, as Expedia discovered. Here, it seems quite obvious that travel providers like OTAs need to educate their customers better because, as we know, basic offsetting schemes, such as the case of planting trees that compensate a trip’s emissions, oftentimes don't cost more than a few dollars.

Undoubtedly, there seems to be a lack of information and resources available to educate people about sustainable travel options. This is where OTAs have to come in and can make a difference.

Flight Emissions Data: Powering Sustainable Aviation | Learn More

Here's What OTAs Can Do

The clear takeaway here is: Travel providers, such as OTAs, can educate travelers on how to travel more sustainably. At present, such education and awareness-raising are not being carried out properly. Otherwise, travelers would not raise such an array of concerns.

These are particularly pronounced when it comes to the lack of information available to determine how one can best travel more sustainably.

So, why exactly is this information missing?

Well, it’s important to consider what OTAs do to cater to this growing interest, which we will explore in the second article of this blog series . Here, we will compare and contrast the products and services currently offered by major OTAs for sustainable travel bookings.

In the final article of the series , you will learn how OTAs can address booking hurdles, including those mentioned in this piece. Additionally, we will go beyond what OTAs offer today and what is on the horizon for the future.

So, stay tuned to learn more about these exciting prospects.

OTAs and Sustainability Blog Series:

Part 2: Explore the products and services offered by major OTAs for sustainable travel bookings Read Now

Part 3: How can OTAs better serve their customers in making sustainable travel choices ? Read Now

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  • Estimated EV/Revenue ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment

According to an April 2024 study, SaaS companies operating in the hospitality industry reported the highest enterprise value to revenue (EV/Revenue) ratio in the online travel market worldwide. As estimated, businesses in that segment recorded an EV/Revenue multiple of 6.8x. This figure was nearly seven times higher than that of the metasearch segment.

Estimated enterprise value to revenue (EV/Revenue) ratio in the online travel market worldwide as of April 2024, by segment

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as of April 12, 2024

451 companies

The SaaS (hospitality market) segment refers to companies like Shiji Group, Agilysis, RateGain, SiteMinder, CoStar Group, and Serko.

The lodging segment refers to companies like Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Accor, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and Marriott. The global online travel agencies segment refers to companies like Booking Holdings, Airbnb, Expedia Group, and Trip.com.

The B2B transactional segment refers to companies like Webjet, Lightspeed, Amadeus, and Sabre. The ride share segment refers to companies like Uber and Lyft. The leisure segment refers to companies like Hilton Grand Vacations, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Travel + Leisure, Carnival Cruise Line, and Vail Resorts. The niche online travel agencies segment refers to companies like MakeMyTrip, Despegar, Adventure, Helloworld Business Travel, Tongcheng Travel, eDreams ODIGEO, and Utour. The metasearch segment refers to companies like Tripadvisor and Trivago. The airlines segment refers to companies like Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, Ryanair, and Southwest.

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  • Revenue of Expedia Group, Inc. worldwide 2007-2023
  • Market size of the tourism sector worldwide 2011-2024

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Statistics on " Online travel market worldwide "

  • Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2019-2028, by segment
  • Distribution of sales channels in the travel and tourism market worldwide 2018-2028
  • Online travel market size worldwide 2017-2028
  • Revenue of the travel apps industry worldwide 2017-2027
  • Estimated EV/EBITDA ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment
  • Travel product online bookings in the U.S. 2024
  • Travel product online bookings in Canada 2024
  • Travel product online bookings in the UK 2024
  • Travel product online bookings in China 2024
  • Travel product online bookings in India 2024
  • Importance to book a trip fully online among travelers worldwide 2023, by generation
  • Revenue of leading OTAs worldwide 2019-2023
  • Marketing expenses of leading OTAs worldwide 2019-2023
  • Marketing/revenue ratio of leading OTAs worldwide 2019-2023
  • Number of employees at leading travel companies worldwide 2023
  • Number of aggregated downloads of leading online travel agency apps worldwide 2023
  • Most popular travel and tourism websites worldwide 2024
  • Number of bookings through Booking Holdings worldwide 2010-2023, by segment
  • Operating income of Booking Holdings worldwide 2007-2023
  • Net income of Booking Holdings worldwide 2007-2023
  • Revenue of Expedia Group, Inc. worldwide 2017-2023, by business model
  • Operating income of Expedia Group, Inc. worldwide 2007-2023
  • Net income of Expedia Group, Inc. worldwide 2007-2023
  • Airbnb revenue worldwide 2017-2023
  • Airbnb revenue worldwide 2019-2023, by region
  • Airbnb operations income worldwide 2017-2023
  • Airbnb net income worldwide 2017-2023
  • Total revenue of Trip.com Group 2013-2023
  • Revenue of Trip.com 2013-2023, by product
  • Revenue of Trip.com 2017-2023, by region
  • Net income of Trip.com 2013-2023
  • Revenue of Tripadvisor worldwide 2008-2023
  • Revenue of Tripadvisor worldwide 2017-2023, by business segment
  • Revenue of Tripadvisor worldwide 2012-2023, by region
  • Operating income of Tripadvisor worldwide 2008-2023
  • Net income of Tripadvisor worldwide 2008-2023

Other statistics that may interest you Online travel market worldwide

Industry overview

  • Premium Statistic Market size of the tourism sector worldwide 2011-2024
  • Premium Statistic Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2019-2028, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Distribution of sales channels in the travel and tourism market worldwide 2018-2028
  • Premium Statistic Online travel market size worldwide 2017-2028
  • Premium Statistic Revenue of the travel apps industry worldwide 2017-2027
  • Premium Statistic Estimated EV/Revenue ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Estimated EV/EBITDA ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment

Online bookings

  • Premium Statistic Travel product online bookings in the U.S. 2024
  • Premium Statistic Travel product online bookings in Canada 2024
  • Premium Statistic Travel product online bookings in the UK 2024
  • Premium Statistic Travel product online bookings in China 2024
  • Premium Statistic Travel product online bookings in India 2024
  • Premium Statistic Importance to book a trip fully online among travelers worldwide 2023, by generation

Market leaders

  • Premium Statistic Revenue of leading OTAs worldwide 2019-2023
  • Premium Statistic Marketing expenses of leading OTAs worldwide 2019-2023
  • Premium Statistic Marketing/revenue ratio of leading OTAs worldwide 2019-2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of employees at leading travel companies worldwide 2023
  • Basic Statistic Market cap of leading online travel companies worldwide 2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of aggregated downloads of leading online travel agency apps worldwide 2023
  • Premium Statistic Most popular travel and tourism websites worldwide 2024

Booking Holdings

  • Basic Statistic Revenue of Booking Holdings worldwide 2007-2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of bookings through Booking Holdings worldwide 2010-2023, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Operating income of Booking Holdings worldwide 2007-2023
  • Premium Statistic Net income of Booking Holdings worldwide 2007-2023

Expedia Group

  • Premium Statistic Revenue of Expedia Group, Inc. worldwide 2007-2023
  • Premium Statistic Revenue of Expedia Group, Inc. worldwide 2017-2023, by business model
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  • Premium Statistic Airbnb revenue worldwide 2017-2023
  • Premium Statistic Airbnb revenue worldwide 2019-2023, by region
  • Premium Statistic Airbnb operations income worldwide 2017-2023
  • Premium Statistic Airbnb net income worldwide 2017-2023

Trip.com Group

  • Premium Statistic Total revenue of Trip.com Group 2013-2023
  • Premium Statistic Revenue of Trip.com 2013-2023, by product
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  • Premium Statistic Net income of Trip.com 2013-2023

Tripadvisor

  • Premium Statistic Revenue of Tripadvisor worldwide 2008-2023
  • Premium Statistic Revenue of Tripadvisor worldwide 2017-2023, by business segment
  • Premium Statistic Revenue of Tripadvisor worldwide 2012-2023, by region
  • Premium Statistic Operating income of Tripadvisor worldwide 2008-2023
  • Premium Statistic Net income of Tripadvisor worldwide 2008-2023

Further related statistics

  • Premium Statistic Skyscanner funnel sessions 2015-2021
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  • Premium Statistic Regional travel industry conversion rates worldwide 2015, by device
  • Basic Statistic Leading travel websites in the United States 2018, by reach
  • Premium Statistic Online sales market for travel brands in India 2017-2022 by category
  • Premium Statistic On The Beach: revenue per daily unique website visits in the UK 2013-2017
  • Premium Statistic Profit before tax of On the Beach in the UK 2013-2021
  • Premium Statistic eTravel providers with fastest growing visitor count in Russia 2019, by type
  • Premium Statistic Share of U.S. residents who are familiar with select OTAs and metasearch engines 2017
  • Premium Statistic Internet economy revenue growth in China 2014-2022
  • Premium Statistic Internet economy as share of GDP SEA 2018 by country
  • Premium Statistic Internet economy as share of GDP SEA 2015-2025
  • Premium Statistic E-commerce share in Russian GDP 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic China mobile internet economy GMV distribution 2014, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Growth rate of internet economy Philippines 2020-2021, by market
  • Premium Statistic Runet economy contribution to GDP in Russia 2011-2021
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  • Premium Statistic Webjet limited net profit after tax Australia 2012-2021
  • Premium Statistic Webjet limited total revenue Australia FY 2015-2024

Further Content: You might find this interesting as well

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  • Online sales market for travel brands in India 2017-2022 by category
  • On The Beach: revenue per daily unique website visits in the UK 2013-2017
  • Profit before tax of On the Beach in the UK 2013-2021
  • eTravel providers with fastest growing visitor count in Russia 2019, by type
  • Share of U.S. residents who are familiar with select OTAs and metasearch engines 2017
  • Internet economy revenue growth in China 2014-2022
  • Internet economy as share of GDP SEA 2018 by country
  • Internet economy as share of GDP SEA 2015-2025
  • E-commerce share in Russian GDP 2011-2022
  • China mobile internet economy GMV distribution 2014, by segment
  • Growth rate of internet economy Philippines 2020-2021, by market
  • Runet economy contribution to GDP in Russia 2011-2021
  • Employee benefits expenses of Webjet Limited in Australia 2016-2021
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  • Webjet limited total revenue Australia FY 2015-2024

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Delta, Riyadh Air sign strategic agreement to expand connectivity and premium travel options across North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond

  • New partnership will include a range of benefits for consumers traveling between North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond.
  • Delta, Riyadh Air to strengthen connectivity and harness future growth opportunities for both carriers.
  • Agreement will enhance competition with an array of new travel choices for consumers, including future Delta service between the U.S. and Riyadh.
  • Delta will serve as Riyadh Air's exclusive partner in North America, while Riyadh Air will be Delta's exclusive partner in Riyadh and beyond.

ATLANTA , July 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines, the world's leading premium airline, and Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia's innovative new full-service global carrier, have signed a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of introducing a broad range of benefits for customers traveling between North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and destinations beyond.

Delta Air Lines and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 370 destinations on six continents. For more information visit news.delta.com. (PRNewsFoto/Delta Air Lines)

The agreement, signed today at a ceremony at Delta's World Headquarters in Atlanta, serves as the foundation for a strategic partnership that will enable both airlines to strengthen connectivity, expand their networks and drive future growth.

"This partnership with Riyadh Air will further Delta's mission of connecting the world and open an array of new choices, benefits and destinations for our customers traveling to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. "Most importantly, Riyadh Air shares Delta's commitment to providing an elevated customer experience, which is why we're looking forward to building and expanding this partnership in the months and years ahead. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Riyadh Air team and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia as they transform the transportation economy in the Kingdom."

"We look forward to enjoying a very warm and productive relationship with Delta Air Lines, one of the largest and most successful airlines in the world. Riyadh Air and Delta Air Lines share common goals and pursue the highest standards in many areas including guest experience, loyalty, and sustainability, built upon great networks and strong connectivity," said Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas.

The agreement envisions a long-term relationship, subject to regulatory approvals, that includes interline and codeshare connectivity, as well as a deeper partnership encompassing loyalty, customer experience, digital transformation and broader aviation services such as maintenance, repair and overhaul services, ground handling and training. In the future, the airlines intend to explore an immunized joint venture to further expand the partnership and allow collaboration on network planning and growth in the region. Both airlines are committed to driving the best sustainability practices throughout their operations as they transform the future of travel.

The partnership will open new destinations in Saudi Arabia and beyond for Delta customers, including future nonstop service on Delta between the U.S. and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. It will provide leisure travelers with a new region of the world to explore while creating new opportunities for business travelers to Riyadh, a G20 capital city, plus destinations beyond. And it will offer Delta's leading North American network for Riyadh Air customers, offering convenient access to hundreds of destinations in the U.S. and beyond with Delta's famous reliability and elevated service.

The new partnership comes as large-scale, ongoing investments in the Kingdom are transforming it into a popular and attractive destination for both leisure and business travelers. Travel is central to the nation's long-term economic growth plan, with an $800 billion investment in the tourism sector that includes development of luxury resorts on the Red Sea, the opening of the Diriyah and al-Ula historical site to visitors, and the hosting of the 2030 Riyadh Expo.

Riyadh Air, which will begin operations in 2025, is committed to building a premier carrier for customers traveling to and from the Middle East, with its base of operations in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Delta, which will mark its 100 th anniversary next year, is the most-awarded U.S. airline with an industry-leading global network and an unrivaled reputation for outstanding customer service and operational excellence.

"It's fitting that Riyadh Air will begin its journey the same year that Delta launches our second century of flight," Bastian said. "We'll have many opportunities to learn from each other and become better airlines for our mutual customers, our employees, our investors and our communities as we fly forward together."

ABOUT DELTA AIR LINES

Through exceptional service and the power of innovation, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) never stops looking for ways to make every trip feel tailored to every customer.

There are 100,000 Delta people leading the way to deliver a world-class customer experience on over 4,000 daily flights to more than 290 destinations on six continents, connecting people to places and to each other.

Delta served more than 190 million customers in 2023 -- safely, reliably and with industry-leading customer service innovation – and was recognized by J.D. Power this year for being No. 1 in First/Business and Premium Economy Passenger Satisfaction. The airline also was again recognized as North America's most on-time airline by Cirium.

We remain committed to ensuring that the future of travel is connected, personalized and enjoyable. Our people's genuine and enduring motivation is to make every customer feel welcomed and cared for across every point of their journey with us.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta operates significant hubs and key markets in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bogota, Boston, Detroit, Lima, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Santiago (Chile), Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul-Incheon and Tokyo.

As the leading global airline, Delta's mission to connect the world creates opportunities, fosters understanding and expands horizons by connecting people and communities to each other and to their own potential.

Powered by innovative and strategic partnerships with Aeromexico, Air France-KLM, China Eastern, Korean Air, LATAM, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet, Delta brings more choice and competition to customers worldwide. Delta's premium product line is elevated by its unique partnership with Wheels Up Experience.

Whether transporting life-saving pharmaceuticals, organs for transplant, fresh flowers or seasonal produce, Delta Cargo provides world-class service, offering industry-leading shipping solutions and transporting over 13 million pieces a year.

Connection is at the heart of what we do at Delta. It's why we're bringing fast, free Wi-Fi presented by T-Mobile to our entire global fleet — connectivity at an unprecedented scale. With more than 650 aircraft equipped with reliable, streaming-quality connectivity today and more to come, customers can connect during travel and spend their time in a way that suits them – just like they would at home.

We believe social responsibility lies at the intersection of our values and expertise, guiding our work in sustainability, our communities, and diversity, equity and inclusion, including:

  • Working toward a more sustainable, elevated future of travel with a clear, metrics-based strategy by building coalitions, leveraging existing solutions and technologies, investing in the future of sustainable aviation fuel and actively inspiring next-generation solutions.
  • Committing – at every level of our organization –  to actively seeking diversity, boldly pursuing equity, and consciously promoting inclusion as a necessary business imperative to drive systemic change that promotes equitable outcomes for all. Our  Close the Gap strategy aims to ensure the representation of women, Black talent and Latin and Hispanic talent in leadership roles accurately reflects the broader employee population. Our talent programs work to remove unnecessary barriers, like four-year-degree requirements, to certain roles across the organization to widen internal and external talent pipelines. Delta's 12 Business Resource Groups influence and drive business strategies and help create solutions that have a significant impact on Delta people, customers and the communities we serve.
  • Returning 1% of the company's annual net income to the communities where we live, work and serve. Even more importantly, Delta people are making a difference in their communities by devoting their time and talents to a wide array of Delta's nonprofit and charitable partners.

Delta is America's most-awarded airline thanks to the dedication, passion and professionalism of its people. In addition to the awards from J.D. Power and Cirium, Delta has been recognized as the top U.S. airline by the Wall Street Journal ; among Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies ; the World's Most Admired Airline and one of the Best 100 Companies to Work For according to Fortune; and as one of Glassdoor's Best Places to Work . In addition, Delta has been named to the Civic 50 by Points of Light for the past seven years as one of the most community minded companies in the U.S.

Connect with Delta on Delta News Hub , delta.com , via @DeltaNewsHub on Twitter and Facebook.com/delta .

ABOUT RIYADH AIR

Riyadh Air, a PIF company, is a world-class airline. Launched in March 2023, the airline will be a digitally led, full-service airline that adopts the best global sustainability and safety practices across its advanced fleet of aircraft. Riyadh Air will equip its aircraft with the most advanced, state-of-the-art features with innovative, best-in-class cabin interiors and experiences, including next generation digital in-flight entertainment systems and connectivity solutions. Riyadh Air will connect guests to over 100 destinations around the world by 2030 through offering an exceptional guest experience with an authentic, warm Saudi hospitality at its heart. For more information please visit our website: www.riyadhair.com .

Riyadh Air color logo.

SOURCE Delta Air Lines

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These Are the Best International Airlines in 2024, According to T+L Readers

Asian and Middle Eastern carriers dominate the rankings of the best international airlines in our "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

world's leading online travel service

How Voting Works

What readers loved, the full list.

After a monumental shake-up last year , which saw a 27-year veteran deposed from its top spot by a relative youngster, things have pretty much returned to normal. Said veteran is back on top, though its former usurper is hot on its heels. Elsewhere on the list, you'll primarily find iconic Asian and Middle Eastern carriers that show up on this list year after year.

Courtesy of Singapore Airlines

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Airlines were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Cabin comfort
  • In-flight service
  • Customer service

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

Is it any surprise that all long-haul travelers want a pleasant experience? Overall, our readers sought comfort, hospitality, and a good bite to eat — something each airline on this list offers its passengers.

In our top five, we've had a little shuffle compared to last year. Most notably, Singapore Airlines is once again our champion, besting last year's winner (and this year's runner-up), French boutique airline La Compagnie . But just barely — Singapore Airlines only scored one one-hundredth of a point higher.

One of the main differentiators between Singapore Airlines (a WBA Hall of Fame honoree) and La Compagnie is the price. "Not the cheapest option, but nice flights with great service," wrote one voter of Singapore Airlines. On the other hand, La Compagnie — which has all business-class seats — had one voter praising the "great value, excellent service, and amazing food."

The remaining three airlines did make last year's list, but the order has shifted. In 2024, Emirates (also a WBA Hall of Fame honoree) took No. 3; All Nippon Airways (ANA) No. 4, and Qatar Airways (another WBA Hall of Fame honoree) No. 5.

Interestingly, it's not only the in-flight experience that matters to our readers. "Exceptional in-flight and on-the-ground service," wrote one voter. "I arranged an extra-long (10-hour) layover just to enjoy the Doha Al Mourjan lounge."

If you're curious about which other airlines our readers loved, you can see them all below. And before you go, we'd like to leave you with one tidbit: Each of the 15 international airlines on this list scored higher than nine of the top 10 domestic airlines.

Singapore Airlines

After Singapore Airlines (SIA) struggled with pandemic-related operational issues, it has come back and better than ever. "I was shocked at how incredible the experience was. I wish I could fly this airline everywhere," wrote one voter. Fortunately, you can fly SIA to more than 70 destinations around the world. Our readers praised the airline's excellent service, specifically complimenting the food on board and each aircraft's cleanliness. "They care about details," one voter noted. And that's a very important thing when you're operating the world's largest commercial aircraft (the A380) and flying the world's longest route (just shy of 19 hours, New York to Singapore).

I was shocked at how incredible the experience was. I wish I could fly this airline everywhere,

1. Singapore Airlines

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 90.89

2. La Compagnie

Reader Score: 90.88

3. Emirates

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 90.02

4. All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Reader Score: 89.84

5. Qatar Airways

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 89.26

6. Korean Air

Reader Score: 86.61

7. Japan Airlines (JAL)

Reader Score: 86.26

8. Thai Airways International

Reader Score: 85.98

9. Etihad Airways

Reader Score: 85.96

10. EVA Air

Reader Score: 84.85

11. Air New Zealand

Reader Score: 84.12

12. Turkish Airlines

Reader Score: 83.78

13. Cayman Airways

Reader Score: 83.33

14. Asiana Airlines

Reader Score: 83.23

15. Air Tahiti Nui

Reader Score: 82.75

Related Articles

What is Project 2025? The Presidential Transition Project explained.

The detailed plan to dismantle and reconstruct the government laid out by  conservative groups  known as the 2025 Presidential Transition Project has critics up in arms over its " apocalyptic " and " authoritarian " nature.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., led an effort to create the more than 900-page  "Mandate for Leadership,"  published in April 2023, reimagining the executive branch and presented a plan to overhaul several federal government agencies, including the FBI, for the country's next conservative president to follow.

More: Project 2025 head says 'second American Revolution' will be 'bloodless if the left allows'

According to the Project's website, the playbook provides a governing agenda and a lineup of people ready to implement it to "rescue the country from the grip of the radical Left." It includes a domestic and  foreign policy  agenda, a list of personnel, training, and a 180-day playbook.

"It is not enough for conservatives to win elections," Project 2025  said on its website . "With the right conservative policy recommendations and properly vetted and trained personnel to implement them, we will take back our government."

Project 2025's Director is  Paul Dans , who served as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management chief of staff in former President Donald Trump's administration. Although it mentions Trump by name, the handbook does not directly assume the Republican party's presumptive nominee will be the one to carry out its agenda.

What is in Project 2025?

The mandate attacks several policies that former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden instituted, including  student loan forgiveness  and  Obamacare . It simultaneously calls for expanded executive power for the commander-in-chief while criticizing what Project 2025 members perceive as overreaches by the Biden administration.

"Presidents should not issue mask or vaccine mandates, arbitrarily transfer student loan debt, or issue monarchical mandates of any sort," the plan reads. "Legislatures make the laws in a republic, not executives."

The playbook calls for the reinstatement of a  Trump executive order  augmenting a president's power to hire and fire federal officials by replacing civil servants with political appointees throughout government.

It also seeks to repeal aspects of the  Affordable Care Act , urge the Food and Drug Administration to reverse the  approval of abortion pills , and further empower Immigration and Customs Enforcement to  deport undocumented immigrants .

The plan also specifically addresses LGBTQ+ issues and attacks "radical gender ideology." In addition to calling for an end to the Department of Education, it suggests legislation that would forbid educators from using transgender students' names or pronouns without written permission from their guardians. It also appears to oppose same-sex marriage and gay couples adopting children by seeking to "maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family."

Project 2025 generates concern

Project 2025 has received substantial criticism from Democrats, including  Representative Jasmine Crockett , D-Texas, who called out the controversial plan during a congressional hearing last month.

"I don't know why or how anybody can support Project 2025," Crockett said. "In the United States of America, dictatorships are never funny, and Project 2025 is giving the playbook for authoritarianism as well as the next dictator to come in."

Progressive Democrat U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts called it a "far-right manifesto" in a  post on TikTok . The Biden campaign captioned a video detailing Project 2025, stating it "needs more attention."

Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, as @rachelbarber_

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year

  • I'm a luxury travel planner, and these are destinations I think will be popular this year.
  • For a beach getaway in Europe , I recommend Sardinia, Corsica, and Costa Navarino
  • I suggest Niseko, Japan, for outdoor enthusiasts or Ticino, Switzerland, as a Lake Como alternative.

Insider Today

With Americans spending more on travel and experiences, now could be just the time to book a trip.

I'm a luxury travel advisor, and I book five-star hotels and luxury vacations around the world for wealthy and high-profile clients.

My clients always ask me about under-the-radar luxury destinations that feel exclusive and are not overly crowded by tourists.

Here are a few places I'm recommending to my clients in 2024.

Ticino, Switzerland

world's leading online travel service

This charming Italian-speaking region is also known as Switzerland's "Little Italy."

I recommend visiting Swissminiatur in Melide, an open-air miniature museum that's great for families with kids. I also suggest visiting the well-manicured Parco Ciani, a beautiful park with statues and fountains that overlook Lago di Lugano.

The region's small lakeside town Ascona is not to be missed. Take a boat cruise there and have lunch with a view of the cafe-lined promenade situated on Lago Maggiore.

You can also take a short boat ride to the Brissago Islands, which consist of two islands. Only Isola Grande is open to the public. There, you can walk around the botanical garden and have a meal at the dreamy, neoclassical Villa Emden .

Sardinia, Italy

world's leading online travel service

Sardinia is also known for its nightlife and white-sand beaches. This island in the Mediterranean is also a hot spot for celebrities.

The northern side of the island is dotted with upscale beach clubs and luxury resorts such as Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, and Hotel Cala di Volpe.

Botswana, Africa

world's leading online travel service

Most visitors go to Kenya for an African safari but Botswana is better suited for a high-end safari experience with luxury accommodations since there are a limited number of camps.

You can spot the Big 5 in the Okavango Delta, which offers a good mix of land and water safaris. Or visit Chobe National Park, which has a very high population of elephants.

Niseko, Japan

world's leading online travel service

Niseko offers some of the best powder for skiing in the winter. In the summer, the area is known for its outdoor activities.

It has natural hot springs, river activities, golf courses, hiking, and mountain biking. If you're up for an adventure in the spring or summer, I recommend climbing to the top of Mt. Yotei, a volcano and one of the famous mountains for skiing. The hike is not for the faint of heart!

Many people visit Tokyo to see the cherry blossoms , but you can also see them in Niseko. They're often in full bloom at the beginning of May.

Corsica, France

world's leading online travel service

Corsica has the perfect mix of rugged landscapes, hiking trails, rich history, and lively beaches. Its Plage de Palombaggia has stunning clear blue waters and a long stretch of white sand.

Corsica also has several vineyards — including a few along the coast — so you can take scenic tours and go wine tasting on the island.

Costa Navarino, Greece

world's leading online travel service

Skip overcrowded Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos. Instead, vacation in Costa Navarino, a coastal town in the Peloponnese known for its world-class golf courses and epic outdoor adventures.

If you want to shop for artisanal goods made by local designers, stop by Navarino Agora, a new outdoor marketplace with an open-air cinema.

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

world's leading online travel service

Jose Ignacio is a chic beach town that comes alive after Christmas (during the region's summer season) when locals from Uruguay and nearby Argentina flock here for vacation.

The former fishing village is anchored by the faro, or lighthouse, near Playa del Faro Jose Ignacio — my favorite beach for people-watching and kite surfing. Spend a day soaking up the sun and check out the trendy seaside bars and restaurants.

Vals, Switzerland

world's leading online travel service

Vals is a small, quiet alpine village in Graubünden with only about 1,000 inhabitants.

It's a hiker's paradise with wide open landscapes and rolling green hills. Try the moderate hike around Lake Zervreila at the base of the gondola in the center of Vals — you'll be rewarded with spectacular lake and village views.

A crown jewel of Vals is 7132 Hotel, an architectural marvel designed by prominent Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The hotel is famous for its thermal spa made of local quartzite.

West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong

world's leading online travel service

This waterfront district in Hong Kong is an art hub with multiple major arts and performance venues . M+ and Hong Kong Palace Museum are two of the newer museums that opened in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

The Xiqu Centre in The West Kowloon Cultural District is an especially cool performing arts venue where you can watch a Cantonese opera.

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

world's leading online travel service

This warm and sunny region is perfect for foodies and wine lovers, with over 100 wineries and many restaurants that serve farm-to-table food.

It's one of New Zealand's oldest wine regions and a great alternative to European ones. The vast majority of New Zealand's cabernet sauvignon and merlot are produced in Hawke's Bay.

Plus, the area's flat trails make it ideal for wine and food tours by bicycle.

Kids will love the National Aquarium of New Zealand and Napier's Marine Parade, an outdoor playground with a skate park, gardens, and mini-golf.

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