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The World’s Top Travel Companies Ranked by R&D Investment

@rafat

Dec 11, 2013 8:00 am

Skift Take

Outside of aerospace and aviation, interesting to see a few consumer travel brands pop up, and we would be keen to know the results of that R&D investment from the likes of Expedia, Homeaway, Ctrip and others on the list. Other interesting related question: would venture investment funds qualify as R&D spend?

— Rafat Ali

The Future of Meetings in the Hospitality Industry

The Boeing Company  / Flickr

Boeing is one of the heaviest spenders on R&D in all of the travel industry. The Boeing Company / Flickr


When you think of the global travel industry, investments in research and development isn’t the first think that comes to mind. That’s of course if you only consider the consumer brands as all of the travel industry.

The 2013 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard is an annual ranking of companies that spend the most in R&D across all major sectors worldwide. Along with the top EU list, commissioned by European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation and Joint Research Centre, there is a global 2000 list of top companies as ranked by their spend in R&D in 2012.

In this global 2000 list are a number of travel-related companies, and we decided to separate them out and take a look. Most of the names on the list, below, are giant conglomerates in the aerospace, aviation manufacturing and defense sector, most of which you may not ever have heard of. These giants have multiple tentacles in the airlines industry, though tough to separate where commercial aviation ends and defense industry starts.

The only household name in aerospace in this list is Boeing, the second biggest R&D spender in the travel industry. Then there’s the airline industry software giant Amadeus, the largest software R&D spender in travel, at around $605 million in 2012, and its investment has been rising at a rapid pace over the last three years.

Among the consumer brands, Expedia tops the list, with a surprisingly high R&D budget in 2012 of over $385 million. Ctrip.com, another consumer online travel brand from China, is also high with an R&D spend of about $151 million and one of the fastest growing R&D budgets over last three years; and Homeaway, the only other consumer online travel brand on the list, coming in at around $51 million spend in 2012.

Concur is the only business travel company on the list, spending about $47 million on R&D in 2012, up a good 30 percent over 2011.

Some others below are transport companies, the two Japanese rail operating companies Central Japan Railway and East Japan Railway. Lastly, on the list are some “leisure” companies focused on online casino and gaming software and hardware, some parts of which would qualify as travel industry, some would not.

Rank in Travel World Rank Name Country Industrial sector R&D 2012 (€million) R&D 1 year growth (%) R&D 3 years growth (CAGR-3y, %)
1 30 EADS The Netherlands Aerospace & Defence 3630 11.7 8
2 54 BOEING USA Aerospace & Defence 2252.5 -17.1 -6.4
3 61 FINMECCANICA Italy Aerospace & Defence 1812 -7.6 -2
4 62 UNITED TECHNOLOGIES USA Aerospace & Defence 1797 15.2 13.3
5 83 BOMBARDIER Canada Aerospace & Defence 1317.3 43.8 45.7
6 100 SAFRAN France Aerospace & Defence 1109 31.4 20.8
7 150 ROLLS-ROYCE UK Aerospace & Defence 749.9 20.6 8.2
8 157 THALES France Aerospace & Defence 699.5 19.3 1.8
9 213 LOCKHEED MARTIN USA Aerospace & Defence 466.9 5.3 -7.7
10 223 TEXTRON USA Aerospace & Defence 442.6 11.2 11.7
11 224 AMADEUS Spain Software & Computer Services 440.3 26.7 21.6
12 265 DASSAULT AVIATION France Aerospace & Defence 359.1 31.3 14.1
13 289 SEGA SAMMY Japan Travel & Leisure 324.4 15.3 -3.7
14 306 CENTRAL JAPAN RAILWAY Japan Travel & Leisure 296.4 30.9 10
15 321 GENERAL DYNAMICS USA Aerospace & Defence 283.5 0.5 1.3
16 330 EXPEDIA USA Travel & Leisure 279.6 24.2 13.6
17 366 ROCKWELL COLLINS USA Aerospace & Defence 242.5 -9.9 -4.8
18 386 ZODIAC AEROSPACE France Aerospace & Defence 222.7 23 17.5
19 391 EMBRAER Brazil Aerospace & Defence 217.2 38.7 30.7
20 434 BAE SYSTEMS UK Aerospace & Defence 189 -31 -12.3
21 456 ELBIT SYSTEMS Israel Aerospace & Defence 176.9 -19.2 1
22 491 MTU AERO ENGINES Germany Aerospace & Defence 160.7 -1.4 10.1
23 527 BE AEROSPACE USA Aerospace & Defence 145.3 20.9 23.2
24 543 EAST JAPAN RAILWAY Japan Travel & Leisure 141.3 3.5 -0.7
25 572 SAAB Sweden Aerospace & Defence 130.9 63 -2.4
26 622 IAI Israel Aerospace & Defence 118.2 1.3 8.5
27 628 MEGGITT UK Aerospace & Defence 116.1 16.7 11.9
28 639 KONGSBERG GRUPPEN Norway Aerospace & Defence 113.5 15.7 13.3
29 659 CTRIP.COM INTERNATIONAL China Travel & Leisure 109.9 51.6 43.5
30 720 TELEDYNE TECHNOLOGIES USA Aerospace & Defence 99.7 29.1 27.5
31 787 COBHAM UK Aerospace & Defence 90.2 0.1 -6.7
32 803 MOOG USA Aerospace & Defence 88.2 9.4 3.6
33 811 WMS INDUSTRIES USA Travel & Leisure 86.8 21.2 2.6
34 813 ORBITAL SCIENCES USA Aerospace & Defence 86.6 11.1 1.3
35 832 BALLY TECHNOLOGIES USA Travel & Leisure 84.2 15.5 11.2
36 834 CAE Canada Aerospace & Defence 83.9 4.4
37 837 BETFAIR UK Travel & Leisure 83.6 -11.3 19.8
38 851 ESTERLINE TECHNOLOGIES USA Aerospace & Defence 81.7 14 15.9
39 884 INDUSTRIA DE TURBO PROPULSORES Spain Aerospace & Defence 76.9 -25.6 15.4
40 915 ARISTOCRAT LEISURE Australia Travel & Leisure 73.1 -12 -8.1
41 920 LOTTOMATICA Italy Travel & Leisure 72.2 22.8 5
42 928 WEST JAPAN RAILWAY Japan Travel & Leisure 71.5 6.9 2
43 975 L-3 COMMUNICATIONS USA Aerospace & Defence 66.7 20.5 10.7
44 1024 WILLIAMS GRAND PRIX UK Travel & Leisure 61.7 7.3 12.6
45 1031 DEUTSCHE BAHN Germany Travel & Leisure 61 38.6 56.2
46 1037 SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION Russia Aerospace & Defence 60.1 1.7 43.8
47 1077 NEXTER France Aerospace & Defence 57.3 -7.6 17.2
48 1091 PILATUS AIRCRAFT Switzerland Aerospace & Defence 56.2 1.5 18.4
49 1098 ULTRA ELECTRONICS UK Aerospace & Defence 55.7 24 10.5
50 1187 ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS USA Aerospace & Defence 49 -2.6 -6.6
51 1243 TRIUMPH USA Aerospace & Defence 46.4 22.3 31.5
52 1244 TELENAV USA Technology Hardware & Equipment 46.4 -13.1 13.8
53 1259 CURTISS-WRIGHT USA Aerospace & Defence 45.3 -3.9 1.4
54 1345 AVIO Italy Aerospace & Defence 41.2 15.9 2.8
55 1146 NOVOMATIC Austria Travel & Leisure 51.8 18.3 11.7
56 1457 HOMEAWAY USA Software & Computer Services 37.2 30.8 47.5
57 1543 RUAG Switzerland Aerospace & Defence 33.9 0 -36
58 1545 UNIBET Malta Travel & Leisure 33.9 27.2 51.3
59 1566 CONCUR TECHNOLOGIES USA Software & Computer Services 33.2 25.9 21.4
60 1621 MTR Hong Kong Travel & Leisure 31.6 162.6 16.2
61 1653 LATECOERE France Aerospace & Defence 30.6 -18.2 11.6
62 1693 CHEMRING UK Aerospace & Defence 29.4 16 36.5
63 1734 AEROVIRONMENT USA Aerospace & Defence 28.2 20.1 14.9
64 1825 SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS USA Aerospace & Defence 25.8 -4.5 -15.6
65 1835 TRAVELSKY TECHNOLOGY China Technology Hardware & Equipment 25.5 -44.7 -11.6
66 1965 HEICO USA Aerospace & Defence 23 19.7 15.6
67 1973 GENCORP USA Aerospace & Defence 23 10.6 25.3

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