Biggest Travel Companies – Behind every great vacation or work trip is a great travel agency that helps make it happen.
Thanks to the world’s top 10 largest travel agencies, you will be able to book flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more through one web page. These companies can be used by businesses and consumers (usually both) and the travel industry will be the largest contributor to the estimated $5.8 trillion global economic contribution in 2021.
Biggest Travel Companies
Beginning with the widespread adoption of the Internet, the travel industry has split into two distinct sectors. A more traditional travel agency means that most customers interact with the travel agent personally one-on-one and have for decades. Today, most major travel companies are online and eschew personal interactions in favor of integrated systems that work for every mode of travel.
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Whether you’re planning your next trip or just curious, we’ve put together a list of the world’s 10 largest travel companies and what they do.
Fairportal is one of the largest travel companies in the world, becoming the 10th largest travel company combining both technology and travel. With five separate brands such as CheapOair, OneTravel and Travelong, Fairportal operates across North America, Europe and Asia.
As a privately held company, its revenue is not publicly disclosed but total sales are expected to exceed $2 billion in 2021.
As part of Fairportal’s work in leisure air travel booking and corporate travel management, they partner with more than 500 airlines, one million hotels and hundreds of car companies worldwide.
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Fairportal provides a 24/7 online experience for certified travel agents who provide travel booking and personal assistance. In 2002, Sam S. Founded by Jain, FarePortal has over 2,000 employees in five different time zones and 20 different languages for travel support.
Based in Centennial, Colorado, Direct Travel is a travel management company specializing in the “mid-market” travel sector. This specialty allows direct travel to focus on corporate travel, meetings and events, and leisure travel. Founded in 1980 by Ed Adams, Direct Travel has more than 2,000 employees and is projected to generate sales of approximately $5.4 billion in 2021.
Us. And with more than 60 locations around Canada, they emphasize business travel sales, which account for more than 80% of the company’s total revenue.
Direct Travel offers its customers a full range of services, including program management, safety and security advice during travel, on-road passenger assistance and global services, all in addition to its customers. A standout service of Direct Travel is its Traveler Information page, which advises business and leisure travelers on all travel requirements, including information such as COVID-19 vaccinations for any destination in the world.
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A subsidiary of American Express Company, a credit card company, American Express Travel is a travel destination dedicated to leisure travel. Founded in 1850, the American Express Company is now headquartered in New York. American Express has been helping customers travel since 1891 and introduced the first passenger check, when American Express Travel was founded in 1915. Their 2021 sales are over $6.7 billion.
The company’s focus is on flights, hotels and combos of the two, as well as rental cars and cruises. Although users of the site are not required to use an American Express card to book, there are several benefits to doing so, including a rewards program with accumulated points that can be used for future travel.
There are several benefits to booking through American Express Travel, such as special offers for certain hotel brands and lower fares through international airline partnerships.
Internova is a privately owned company serving customers worldwide and in various travel modes. Headquartered in New York, the company owns more than 20 different brands across various aspects of the travel industry. With more than 70,000 travel advisors worldwide at 6,000 company-owned travel agencies, the company has sales of approximately $7.12 billion in 2021.
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Founded in 2008, Internova supports travel in over 80 countries through its primary brands Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network, Crucon Cruise Outlets, Cruise Specialists, Road Trips and more. Each brand has a focus that aligns with one of Internova’s four core travel segments: Corporate & Leisure, Premium Travel, Network, Host & Vacation, and Hotel Wholesale.
Founder and Chairman Michael Batt transitioned from Travel Leaders Group to Internova in 2020 to consolidate all of the company’s business units into one modern brand.
The sixth largest travel company in the world and the first not headquartered in the United States, Flight Center Travel Group is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Founded in 1982, Flight Center Travel Group operates across regions: Australia and New Zealand, North America, Asia, Europe and South Africa. On top of these destinations, the company’s Global Corporate Travel Management Network, or FCM Travel Solutions, has expanded its reach to 90 countries through strategic licensing agreements.
With sales exceeding $16 billion by 2021, Flight Center Travel Group employs more than 20,000 people in support of its extensive reach. Flight Center’s passion for the love of travel has helped its success under CEO Graham “Screw” Turner.
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In total, Turner oversees more than 35 distinct and unique brands, all serving both leisure and corporate travel under the FlightCenter Travel Group umbrella.
Formerly known as Carlson Wagonlit Travel, CWT is primarily a business-focused travel company. Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company is expected to achieve sales of $25 billion by 2021.
CWT prides itself on a strong focus on simplifying the corporate journey so employees don’t get bogged down in software hassles. Between business travel, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and event management, CWT is a full-service solution for corporate organizations large and small. More than 18,000 employees support travel in more than 145 different countries.
As one of the world’s largest travel companies, CWT provides travel support to 33% of publicly listed companies in the S&P 500 and around 33% of companies listed in the FTSE 100. -Patrick Andreessen, president and CEO of Covid World, was appointed to the position in May 2022 after serving as chief commercial officer.
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Founded in 2006, BCD Travel is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based BCD Group, with sales of over $27 billion in 2021. The company was formed when BCD Group acquired and spun off TQ3 Travel Solutions Management Holding and The Travel Company. BCD travel name.
With a strong focus on corporate accounts, BCD Travel helps travelers stay safe and productive while on the road. They claim a 98% client retention rate while operating in 109 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in the Netherlands and existing as the country’s largest travel agency, BCD Travel operates from Atlanta, London and Singapore through CEO John Synder. About 14,000 employees call BCD Travel home and operate its own subsidiary focused on global meetings and events created for BCD Meetings and Events.
As the world’s leading B2B travel platform, American Express Global Business Travel should not be confused with American Express Travel, which focuses on leisure travel.
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Although the company uses the name American Express, the credit card giant only owns 50% of the company and the remaining 50% is owned by a group of private investors. Headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, GBT had sales of $33.7 billion in 2021, easily solidifying it as one of the world’s largest travel companies.
More than 18,000 employees help the company support both the software and services it provides to its vast list of corporate clients worldwide. Everything from travel and expenses to meetings and events can be managed through its platform. In May 2021, GBT expanded its reach when it acquired Agencia, Expedia’s corporate travel division, and Ovation Travel Group in January 2021.
After both acquisitions, GBT operates in 140 countries and has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 2014.
Expedia Group, the world’s second-largest travel company by gross sales, relinquishes its title in 2021 with gross sales of $72.4 billion. Available in more than 70 countries, Expedia is home to well-known brands like Expedia, Hotels.com, VRBO, Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz, CheapTickets, Trivago and more. Focusing solely on leisure travel, Expedia divested itself of corporate travel activities after being sold to American Express Global Business Travel in 2021.
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Collectively, the Expedia Group includes more than 200 travel sites in more than 70 countries around the world. It is responsible for 500+ airline, cruise line and car rental companies available to customers across the 3 million plus properties available across the Expedia Group portfolio.
Today, Booking Holdings is home to some of the world’s best travel brands, including Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak.com, Agoda.com, CheapFlights, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable. Operating in 40 out of 220 countries