Skift Take

Suppliers, namely airlines, hotels, a cruise line and a car rental company, clearly dominate the top 15. Priceline and Amadeus are the only middlemen represented.

Editor’s Note: On June 26 we published a list of the world’s 15 largest publicly traded travel companies by market cap and we screwed some up. Several companies were erroneously included when we failed to take into account that their market cap was listed in local dollar currencies, not USD. We apologize for those errors, and the following story makes things right, but if you think you know of a company that should have been included below, please let us know in comments below.

Who’s king of the hill when it comes to the world’s largest publicly traded travel companies?

Skift compiled a list of the globe’s 15 biggest publicly traded travel companies by market cap, and in a cliff-hanger, hotel-casino Las Vegas Sands Corp. ($42.72B), which operates  The Venetian Las Vegas, The Palazzo, a convention center on the Strip, and properties in Macao and Singapore, edged out hotel-booking behemoth Priceline/ ($42.32B) as the largest publicly traded travel company.

Although Priceline and Expedia often are mentioned in the same breath, Expedia Inc., and its slightly larger offspring TripAdvisor, didn’t make the top 15, although they were close.

Skift relied on real-time market cap data from Google Finance and Bloomberg taken July 3 so it’s possible that leaders Las Vegas Sands and Priceline could intermittently change positions in the next moments or weeks as their stock prices fluctuate.

Hotels and hotel-casinos, including Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts ($12.74B), Marriott ($12.28B), and Starwood ($12.25B) made a good accounting of themselves in the list, taking four out of the 15 perches.

Along with these hotels, media company Walt Disney ($34.99B) gets nearly a third of its business from hotels, as well as its iconic theme parks, and place No. 3 on the ranking. (Disney’s total market cap was actually $114.56B, and we attributed $34.99B of its market cap to “travel” because in fiscal year 2012 its Parks and Resorts division generated 30.55% of Disney’s total revenue.)

It’s interesting to point out that InterContinental Hotels Group, with its nine brands and 4,600 hotels, and sometimes considered the largest hotel company in the world, didn’t make the top 15 when considering market cap.

As a sector, airlines were the heavy-hitters in Skift’s top 15 largest travel companies.

Of the six airlines in the top 15 largest travel companies, including Delta Air Lines ($15.77B), Ryanair ($15.35B), United Continental ($10.43B), Southwest Airlines ($9.28), Singapore Airlines ($9.21B) and Lufthansa ($9.11B),  three are headquartered in the U.S., two in Europe, and one in Asia.

And, among airlines, it wasnt all about network carriers. Budget airline Ryanair and domestic-service only Southwest Airlines proved their market clout, taking the sixth and 13th positions, respectively.

The new American Airlines, the US Airways-American Airlines hoped-for combo, wouldn’t make the the top 15 when combined at this point due to the stock-wallop that occurred in connection with AMR Corp.’s bankruptcy.

One airline-dependent company, Amadeus IT Holding, which is listed in Madrid and does a ton of airline IT work, in addition to its global distribution system business for airlines and travel agencies, took the seventh spot in the rankings with a market cap of $14.19B.

Amadeus’ chief rivals in the GDS business, Travelport and Sabre, are private companies so it’s unknown how their business dimensions hold up against Amadeus and other global travel companies.

While Priceline was the sole online travel agency to make the top 15, Carnival Corp. ($27.01B) was the solitary cruise line, as the fourth largest publicly traded travel company, and Hertz ($10.05B,) in 12th place was the only car rental company.

Skift’s Top 15 Publicly Traded Travel Companies

1. Las Vegas Sands $42.72B $11.1B
2. Priceline $42.32B $5.2B
3. Walt Disney* $34.99B $12.9B
4. Carnival Corp. $27.01B $15.4B
5. Delta Air Lines $15.77B $36.6B
6. Ryanair $15.35B $5.6B
7. Amadeus $14.19B $3.7B
8. Wynn Resorts $12.74B $5.1B
9. Marriott $12.28B $11.7B
10. Starwood $12.25B $6.3B
11. United Continental $10.43B $37.1B
12. Hertz $10.05B $9B
13. Southwest Airlines $9.28B $17.1B
14. Singapore Airlines $9.21B $11.6B
15. Lufthansa $9.11B $20.9B
Disney’s total market cap was actually $114.56B, and we attributed $34.99B of it to “travel;” in fiscal year 2012 Disney Parks and Resorts unit generated 30.55% of Disney’s total revenue.
Sources: Google Finance, Bloomberg, company financial reports

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Tags: carnival, casino, delta air lines, priceline

Photo credit: The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, part of the Las Vegas Sands empire.

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