Travel agencies - additional information
Travel agencies facilitate the purchase of travel products between travel providers and customers. Since the advent of the internet, the industry has been divided into two main sectors; traditional travel agencies which are brick and mortar stores where trained professionals deal with customers one to one, and online travel agencies (OTAs) these are e-commerce site which bypass the need for a personal travel agent and search travel providers using global distribution systems such as Amadeus. Although OTAs lack the assistance of a trained professional, they do allow customers to compare travel options themselves.
In 2016, the largest travel agency in the world was Expedia Inc. closely followed by The Priceline Group. Expedia inc. is the parent company to several well known OTAs such as Expedia.com, Trivago, Travelociy and Orbitz. The revenue of Expedia has increased year-on-year, reaching 8.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. The second largest travel agency, The Priceline Group also head well known online travel agencies and travel brands, such as Booking.com, Priceline.com and Rentalcars.com. Like Expedia, the revenue of The Priceline Group has been growing year-on-year. Despite having lower sales than Expedia in 2016, the group achieved higher revenues in 2016 reaching 10.74 billion U.S. dollars, almost two billion more that year.