Most consumers are familiar with the travel and tourism industry from using its services for some needed rest and relaxation during family and related vacations. However, these same activities can be invested in, with many publicly-traded firms offering travel activities for the end benefit of growing the capital of their underlying shareholders. Listed below are five areas of the travel and tourism market that could prove lucrative from an investing standpoint. It could also help committed travelers better understand the landscape and hunt down some travel deals.

See: Best Places And Sites For Online Travel Deals

Online Travel Providers
As with many industries, revenue continues to shift to the internet when it comes to providing travel and tourism services. Stock brokers have been replaced in large part with online trading platforms, while traditional travel agents have had to compete with online websites that allow consumers to shop for low prices and convenient schedules.

Leading online travel providers include publicly-traded players such as Orbitz, Priceline and Expedia. In particular, Priceline has been highly successful in driving traffic to its website to book flights and bid for cheap, last minute travel deals. Over the past five years, it has seen sales and profits grow around 20% annually. This growth has fully shown through in its stock price, which is up around 1,000% in the past five years.

Cruising
The cruise line industry has been in existence for more than a century, but still is not that widespread as a travel choice for many consumers. Carnival, the largest cruise line operator in the world, has estimated that only 3.4% of the population in North America has ever been on a cruise. The percentages are even lower in the rest of the world.

Capacity is also growing nicely; Carnival estimates the entire industry has seen average annual capacity growth of roughly 5.6 to 6.9% over the past five years.

Hotels
The hotel industry is dominated by a couple of leading international players. This includes publicly-traded firms Marriott and Starwood Hotels, as well as privately owned Hilton. These companies have largely blanketed their home United States market and are now growing internationally. In Starwood's case, 84% of its new hotel pipeline was international. These chains have also pursued the managing of properties for hotel owners, as well as timeshares where they sell the rights for consumers to use their properties for a week, or more, during each calendar year. (For additional reading, see Timeshares: Dream Vacation Or Money Pit?)

Maga-resorts
Large resort operators combine the development of hotels with other entertainment and related amenities. Publicly-traded operators in this space include Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the Opryland resort in Nashville and other properties in Texas, Florida and Maryland. It specializes in massive resorts that allow big travel groups to host conventions and other giant gatherings.

Vail Resorts owns some of the best-known ski resorts in Colorado and surrounding areas. This includes Vail Mountain, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek Resort. Of course, Walt Disney specializes in kid-friendly theme parks, hotels and entertainment complexes, such as Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.

Casinos
Las Vegas-style gambling is growing rapidly across Asia. Macao has grown into the largest gambling market in the world and has seen the building of massive casino resorts from Las Vegas-based firms such as Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands. Both are publicly traded companies. This growth is expanding to other parts of Asia, including Singapore, and potentially Vietnam and Japan.

The Bottom Line
These are just some of the many opportunities to invest in the travel and tourism industries across the world. Overseas growth, especially in emerging market economies, should continue to outpace that in more developed markets in North America and Europe. However, as with the online travel space, there will always be pockets that are picking up market share in every part of the world. (To learn more, read An Evaluation Of Emerging Markets.)

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Seven U.S. Destinations You’d Swear Were Overseas

    If you can't stop thinking about safety (or your budget) as you plan your vacation, try these seven very-exotic-feeling places right here in the U.S.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 AllianceBernstein Funds that Are Rated 5 Stars by Morningstar

    Discover the top three mutual funds administered and managed by AllianceBernstein that have received five-star overall ratings from Morningstar.
  3. Retirement

    Is it Safe for Retirees to Invest in Technology?

    Tech stocks are volatile creatures, but there are ways even risk-adverse retirees can reap rewards from them. Here are some strategies.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Is Morningstar’s Star System An Effective Ranking Tool? (MORN)

    Learn why Morningstar's star rating system is not always a great predictor of future performance, and why investors should not pick funds on star ratings alone.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The Top 5 Oil and Gas Stocks for 2016 (XOM, BP)

    Read detailed analyses of the top five oil and gas stocks, and learn why they may be poised to rise in 2016 after a dismal 2015.
  6. Retirement

    Roth IRAs Tutorial

    This comprehensive guide goes through what a Roth IRA is and how to set one up, contribute to it and withdraw from it.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETFs Can Be Safe Investments, If Used Correctly

    Learn about how ETFs can be a safe investment option if you know which funds to choose, including the basics of both indexed and leveraged ETFs.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 PIMCO Funds Rated 5 Stars by Morningstar

    Learn about three fixed income mutual funds managed by Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) that have received five-star overall ratings from Morningstar.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Invesco Funds Rated 5 Stars by Morningstar

    Learn about the top three mutual funds administered and managed by Invesco Ltd. that have received a five-star overall rating from Morningstar.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 5 Large Cap Core ETFs for 2016 (VUG, SPLV)

    Look out for these five ETFs in 2016, and learn why investors should closely watch how the Federal Reserve moves heading into the new year.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is a derivative?

    A derivative is a contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying financial asset, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why are most airplane tickets nonrefundable?

    Airplane tickets are generally nonrefundable, because the majority of tickets sold are discount tickets. In exchange for ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    The Vanguard mutual fund family is one of the largest and most well-recognized fund family in the financial industry. Its ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do mutual funds work in India?

    Mutual funds in India work in much the same way as mutual funds in the United States. Like their American counterparts, Indian ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts?

    While the specific dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts vary by state, all states provide for the escheatment ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  2. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
Trading Center