As the U.S. thaws out from one of the most brutal winters in recent memory, demand for summer vacation trips is rising — and that bodes well for the right travel stocks.
The white-hot competition in the online travel market is putting pressure on all players to grow their business to achieve market share and economies of scale. For example, Tripadvisor (TRIP) is seeking growth through acquisitions, having purchased London-based Tripbod on Monday and Vacation Home Rentals on May 1.
And there’s good reason for all online travel stocks to keep playing hard. According to a new American Express survey of nearly 300 travel counselors, 45% said their summer travel bookings, relative to their bookings from last year, have increased — despite the fact that 67% said the cost of travel is up when compared to 2013. “After one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record, it’s no surprise people are itching to get away this summer,” says Laura Fink, vice president of American Express Travel.
Those results are consistent with a new Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) survey that found a whopping 88% of Americans plan to take a summer vacation this year, up 11% year-over-year — with more than half of travelers using reward points to book hotel and airfare.
A rising tide of vacationing consumers definitely should have you pointed toward travel stocks … though some are better bets than others. So, here are two travel stocks to book and two to bump: