Skift Take

This Inc. Magazine list highlights the distance between what’s growing and working in travel, versus what gets funded by VCs.

And today, back to our favorite subject: What’s actually working in travel right now, versus what gets funded and talked about. The delta between those two, starkly apparent in a list that’s grown to be among our annual favorites: Inc. Magazine‘s “5000 Fastest Growing Companies” list.

This is a list of U.S.-based private companies, measuring revenue growth from 2009 through 2012. To qualify, these for-profit companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009.

In this giant list for 2013 are 62 companies in the travel and hospitality space, and we’ve arranged them by total revenues over 2012.

The list is filled with mostly unfamiliar names. Some are holding companies in hospitality, travel management companies (for business travel), private aviation companies, B2B companies providing services to the travel industry at large, vacation and housing rental companies, and entertainment ventures. In other words, a group as eclectic as the breath and depth of travel industry, working beyond the ones with headlines.

For us, lot of those were names we hadn’t dug into before. The surprise for us in digital world was, the online booking cruise specialist that’s been around for the last eleven years, and now clocking in close to $400 million a year in revenues. Another one was SmartDestinations, an online tour booking company and platform that provides admission to more than 400 attractions across nine U.S. cities., and had revenues of above $30 million for 2012.

Among the ones most known to us, TravelClick was also big surprise by the sheer size of it, and we’re even recommending Tripadvisor should be having a closer look at the hospitality services firm as a possible acquisition target. Flightstats, another familiar company, is small but growing very fast.

Benchmark Hospitality International 88% $506.6 million TX 91% $389.9 million TX
Denihan Hospitality Group 71% $280.8 million NY
TravelClick 43% $257.1 million NY
First Hospitality Group 64% $243.5 million IL
Driftwood Hospitality Management 40% $231.4 million FL
Atlas Travel 58% $220.6 million MA
OTO Development/Palmetto Hospitality Funds 227% $142.9 million SC
National Corporate Housing 414% $87.6 million VA
Ovation Travel Group 67% $58.6 million NY
Access Destination Services 125% $44.9 million CA
Smart Destinations 70% $31.1 million MA
Big Night Entertainment Group 173% $28.2 million MA
Cruise Planners – American Express Travel 49% $26.1 million FL
Vantage Hospitality Group 43% $24.2 million FL
Banyan Investment Group 148% $17.7 million FL
Prive Jets 308% $16.5 million FL
Simpleview 173% $16.4 million AZ
Regal Wings 2513% $15.4 million NY
All Star Vacation Homes 63% $15.2 million FL
Grand Incentives 198% $15.2 million FL
Switchplace 172% $14.9 million TX
Fox World Travel 37% $14.8 million WI
Richfield Hospitality 248% $12.3 million CO
Magellan Jets 243% $12.1 million MA
Adventure Life 50% $10.7 million MT
UniFocus 52% $10.4 million TX
305 Degrees 1071% $10.1 million FL
Travel All Russia 346% $9 million VA
Liberty Jet Management 173% $8.9 million NY
Urban Nirvana 35% $8.7 million SC
ITN International 54% $8.5 million MD
Lusive Decor 54% $8.1 million CA
Sky Helicopters 141% $7.9 million TX
LeisureLink 122% $7.2 million CA
In-Flight Crew Connections 1083% $6.9 million NC
Xtreme Trips 76% $6.7 million NY
FlightStats 134% $6.5 million OR
Small World Vacations 75% $6.5 million NJ
Ludus Sports 112% $6.4 million CA
Red Zone Tickets 96% $6.3 million NE 119% $5 million CA
VisaHQ 40% $4.8 million DC
Tenon Tours 769% $4.8 million MA
Journey Mexico 115% $4.7 million TX
21c Museum Hotels 673% $4.6 million KY
In the Know Experiences 539% $4.3 million NY
Paramount Business Jets 1093% $4.3 million VA
Sceptre Hospitality Resources 167% $4.1 million CO
Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals 237% $4 million CO
Context Travel 95% $3.8 million PA
Executive Travel 126% $3.8 million NE
Hiatus Spa + Retreat 279% $3.8 million TX
Millennium Tours 63% $3.7 million TX
Luggage Forward 97% $3.6 million MA
Outer Banks Blue Realty Services 70% $3.6 million NC
International Voyager 149% $3 million NJ
Travel Tribe 57% $2.8 million NJ
J Public Relations 260% $2.7 million CA 79% $2.6 million FL
London Guest Suites 107% $2.6 million CA
Sunshine Rentals 55% $2.2 million CA

Related Link: The 2012 listThe delta between what’s growing in travel vs. what’s getting VC funding

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Photo credit: Inc 5000 list, photo courtesy Inc's Facebook page. Inc. Magazine / Facebook

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