To qualify for the Power List, a company had to have a minimum of $100 million in travel sales in 2018. For purposes of this survey, sales are defined as gross sales of travel products worldwide, whether to consumers or to corporate travelers; the company must be the merchant of record on the transaction from a supplier's perspective.
At least 15% of the sales volume must have been generated in the U.S.
Early this year, the questionnaire was sent to companies that had appeared on the list in previous years; had been in the news because of acquisitions or had grown for other reasons; or had contacted Travel Weekly believing they qualified.
As has been the case for years, Travel Weekly requested that gross sales volume be certified by a company's owner, CEO or CFO. In a small number of cases, certification was made by an executive at the vice president level but with financial oversight.
Some companies that may have qualified opted not to participate. (See "A note on Booking Holdings.")
While all cooperating listees did certify sales (or made them public), it must be kept in mind that even those numbers are difficult to verify because the great majority of travel sellers are privately held and under no obligation to disclose financial data.
Also, there is no commonly accepted standard for calculating sales volume, and there is no clearinghouse in the U.S. that tracks nonairline sales, as ARC does for airline sales. Where possible, Travel Weekly sought to confirm accuracy in the figures by referring to other data and to articles published in the past year. We also reviewed responses for consistency and used whatever resources we had at our disposal to ensure accuracy.
The survey on which these rankings were based also included questions involving ARC sales, travel-related subsidiaries, percentage of sales from business and leisure, corporate structure and others.
There were several open-ended questions about recent and planned developments to which companies could reply in any way they felt appropriate. Responses to the questionnaire determined the length of the profiles that accompany each listed agency.
A few companies, chosen by Power List contributing editor Chris Davis, are the subjects of Power List Profiles that demonstrate the diversity of listed companies.
There may be companies that should be on the list but escaped our attention. Representatives of such companies should email [email protected] so we can send them a questionnaire for next year's Power List.