This positive outlook is due to the sector’s recovery efforts as it approaches pre-pandemic levels. Even as the U.S. economy grapples with stingy inflation and the Federal Reserve’s cautious stance on cutting interest rates, the travel industry thrives on pent-up demand and growing investment opportunities.

Moreover, according to market estimates, the travel market will expand by $3.39 trillion at a CAGR of 14.18% from 2022 to 2027. The growing popularity of experiential travel fuels this growth, along with the burgeoning medical tourism sector, backed by more aggressive tourism promotion globally. These factors collectively paint a promising picture of the travel industry’s future and make certain travel stocks stand out. With that said, here are seven travel stocks positioned to take off this year.

Travel Stocks: Expedia Group (EXPE)

Expedia app logo on a smartphone screen. EXPE stock

Source: NYC Russ /

Expedia Group (NASDAQ:EXPE) stands at the forefront of online travel, offering a myriad of services for flights, hotels, and vacation packages. In the past year, EXPE’s share price surged by 27.49%, reflecting its strong market position.

Particularly noteworthy is EXPE’s investment in AI chatbots and the launch of conversational trip planning powered by ChatGPT, enhancing the user experience by inspiring members to explore new travel possibilities. Moreover, EXPE is expanding its reach with new travel partnerships throughout Europe. These efforts, spanning B2B technology to supply distribution agreements, should help establish a more dominant presence in the continent.

Furthermore, EXPE showcased stellar financials, with revenues hitting $2.89 billion, a 10.28% year-over-year (YOY) increase, and set a record with its full-year GAAP net income soaring by 127% YOY. Earnings-per-share (EPS) reached $1.72, edging out estimates by two cents. With a ‘Moderate buy’ rating and an anticipated 18.72% upside from TipRanks analysts, Expedia’s financial success underscores its dynamic appeal.

Booking Holdings (BKNG)

a person opens up on a smartphone

Source: Denys Prykhodov /

Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) has thrived in the post-pandemic travel surge. With an array of brands under its umbrella, it offers everything from hotel and flight bookings to car rentals and travel insurance. Its share price jumped 38.38% last year, reflecting robust investor confidence in its growth.

Moreover, BKNG has boosted its market leadership by investing in technology to improve user experiences. The 2023 launch of an AI trip planner, which effectively streamlines the rather taxing itinerary creation process, stands out. Additionally, the opening of its new Center of Excellence in Bengaluru, India, promising 1,000 tech jobs by 2026, demonstrates BKNG’s commitment to expand.

Financially, BKNG’s performance has been stellar, with total revenues hitting $21.4 billion for 2023, marking a 25% increase YOY. Adjusted EBITDA also rose by 34% to $7.1 billion. TipRanks analysts have given BKNG a ‘Moderate buy’ rating, predicting a 13.24% upside potential, further solidifying its position in the industry.

Carnival Corporation (CCL)

Carnival (CCL) logo sign in the night at their headquarters in Miami, Florida, USA. Carnival Cruise Line is an international cruise line.

Source: JHVEPhoto /

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) emerges as a beacon in the leisure travel landscape, boasting an impressive 44.69% surge in its share price over the past year. Specializing in global cruises, its expansive portfolio includes industry stalwarts such as Holland America, Princess, and Alaska Tours, promising unparalleled vacation experiences. Moreover, the strategic unveiling of Holland America Line’s 2025 to 2026 Asia Cruise Season epitomizes CCL’s commitment to broadening its global footprint, venturing into over 50 ports across 11 countries.

Financially, CCL’s prowess is undeniable, with full-year 2023 revenues reaching a record-breaking $21.6 billion. The company’s aggressive debt reduction strategy paid off, trimming its debt balance by $4.6 billion. This financial prudence propelled CCL into 2024 in its strongest booked position, setting a new benchmark for price and occupancy levels. TipRanks analysts are buoyant about CCL’s trajectory, bestowing a ‘Moderate buy’ rating with a promising 35.38% upside potential, underscoring its growth potential.

Delta Air Lines (DAL)

Inside the airplane cabin of a Delta flight.

Source: EQRoy /

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), a titan in the aviation realm with a century of excellence under its wings, has soared with an 11.16% increase in its share price over the past year. The airliner is among a select few in its niche, which is looking to propel the future of eco-friendly air travel with its Delta Sustainable Skies Lab, a pioneering initiative dedicated to accelerating sustainable aviation advancements.

Moreover, DAL is enhancing its customer experience with a unique offering: a special eclipse-viewing flight. Soaring from Austin to Detroit during the solar eclipse, this flight will offer passengers a unique view from 30,000 feet during the penultimate moment. Additionally, the airliner is looking to expand globally, partnering with airBaltic for smoother North America to Latvia connections.

Financially, Delta shattered records with $54.7 billion in revenue for 2023, a 20% YOY increase, and an operating income of $6.3 billion. Acknowledging Delta’s financial success, TipRanks analysts have awarded the airline a ‘Strong buy’ rating, foreseeing a 27.04% upside potential.

United Airlines (UAL)

a United (UAL) airplane flying through the sky

Source: NextNewMedia /

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) is soaring across the aviation sector, connecting all six major continents through its mainline and Express divisions. Embracing innovation, UAL partnered with Eve Air Mobility to electrify United’s fleet with 400 electric aircraft by 2026, marking a significant stride in air travel modernization.

Moreover, UAL is embarking on a monumental fleet expansion initiative with an ambitious aircraft designed to improve quality and accommodate more passengers. With its plan to launch its largest-ever transatlantic schedule, including introducing new services to different cities, this expansion aims to extend the travel season and offer travelers more flexibility.

Financially, UAL is on a robust trajectory, with its share price jumping 9.31% over the past year, backed by a 9.89% YOY revenue increase to $13.63 billion and an EPS that surpassed expectations. TipRanks analysts are optimistic, giving UAL a ‘Moderate buy’ rating with a 28.81% upside potential, highlighting its promising future.

Viad (VVI)

Plane travel. Man standing in airport waiting for flight. travel stocks to buy

Source: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI) has emerged as a formidable leisure travel and live events player. Its Pursuit segment, offering unique experiences like the Alaska Collection and FlyOver attractions, has significantly contributed to a 36.14% surge in its stock price over the past year.

Financially, VVI revealed a robust revenue of $291.68 million in the recent quarter, marking a 17% increase YOY, with the Global Experience Specialists (GES) segment exceeding expectations through a 7% revenue growth and solid profit margins.

Looking ahead, Viad projects a full-year consolidated adjusted EBITDA growth of 16% to 30%, buoyed by strong free cash flow. The anticipated launch of FlyOver Chicago in March 2024, coupled with a strong demand for its services, underscores its strategy to captivate more international leisure travelers and bolster its presence in the event sectors. TipRanks analysts echo this positive outlook, bestowing Viad with a ‘Moderate buy’ rating and forecasting a 19.68% upside potential.

Marriott International (MAR)

Front view of a Marriott hotel

Source: OCLS Central Michigan University – Flickr: Cleveland, CC BY 2.0

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR), a titan in the hospitality sector, is riding high on the wave of positive travel trends anticipated this year. The company’s strategic acquisition of the City Express brand and a record expansion of 91,000 rooms in North America highlight its aggressive push into the affordable midscale segment.

Furthermore, its dedication to diversity shines through its expanded all-inclusive resorts and branded residences. Additionally, MAR’s global promotion for Bonvoy members, rewarding bonus points and Elite Night Credits underlines its strategy to enhance customer loyalty.

Financially, Marriott boasted a 44.8% increase in its share price over the past year. Its revenue reached a substantial $6.1 billion, a 2.9% YOY increase, and EPS of $3.57 surpassed expectations by $1.45. Likewise, MAR’s $848 million net income underscores its profitability and efficiency, making it an attractive choice for investors.

On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines

Muslim Farooque is a keen investor and an optimist at heart. A life-long gamer and tech enthusiast, he has a particular affinity for analyzing technology stocks. Muslim holds a bachelor’s of science degree in applied accounting from Oxford Brookes University.

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