Expedia Group Ranked #2 on Travel Weekly’s 2024 Power List

The article was published on June 24, 2024 in Travel Weekly

An all-time high of 72 agencies are on this year’s Power List, an annual collection of the world’s biggest sellers of travel, and a strong sense of buoyancy prevailed in insights gleaned from the accompanying survey responses.

Even with a new threshold of $110 million in global annual travel sales to qualify, there are 11 more companies on the Power List than last year, which had a $100 million minimum. A record 24 companies reported sales of more than $1 billion in 2023, up from 18 in 2022.

The top six’s ordering remained the same, but that’s likely to change next year if American Express Global Business Travel’s (No. 3) acquisition of CWT (No. 5) is approved. Other companies believe more consolidation can be expected in 2024.

Among the newcomers to the Power List are Navan, ATPI, Trevolution and Vacations to Go, all with jackets to the $1 billion club.

What Power Listers said

In their Power List questionnaire, agencies were invited to provide detail on their accomplishments, future plans and industry outlook. Optimism about their companies and a general enthusiasm about the industry were pervasive.

Just two years ago the pandemic was all anyone could talk about. But this year only a few mentioned the pandemic’s effects on travel, mostly just to provide context about their pivot from rebound and recovery operations to expansion and growth initiatives.

One company official observed that travelers now prioritize travel as a key component of their health and wellness budgeting. Another said that “travel demand remains hearty, with the baby boomer wealth transfer driving historic appetite for life experiences.” Year-over-year growth, opportunities for expansion and technological innovation were common refrains.

Many noted the allure of artificial intelligence and how it can help create “frictionless travel.” After a delayed flight, for example, AI-powered technology can automatically adjust car rental reservations, hotel check-in and even dinner reservations on an itinerary with no extra effort (or heartache) required from the traveler.

Investment in AI to improve both advisors’ and customers’ experiences; develop more effective ways to implement and measure sustainability efforts; and create more personalized experiences for travelers continues to be prevalent throughout the industry.

How the 2024 Power List was created

To qualify for the 2024 Power List, a company had to record a minimum of $110 million in travel sales in 2023, a change from previous years when only $100 million was required.

For purposes of this survey, sales are defined as gross sales of travel products worldwide, whether to consumers or to corporate travelers; the company must be the agent of record on the transactions from a supplier’s perspective. At least 15% of the sales volume must have been generated in the U.S.

The questionnaire was sent in February to companies that had appeared on the list in previous years; had contacted Travel Weekly believing they qualified; or had been in the news because of acquisitions or had grown for other reasons.

As has been the case for years, Travel Weekly requested that gross sales volume be certified by a company’s owner, CEO or CFO. In a small number of cases, certification was made by an executive at the vice president level but who was granted financial oversight.

Some companies chose not to return our questionnaire. For Expedia Group we obtained sales data from public filings and Vacations to Go from published statements. In the case of American Express Travel, Travel Weekly editors estimated its sales and position based on previous rankings and performance of similar companies.