The past year in travel has been marked by consolidation: Marriott created the world’s largest hotel company with its acquisition of Starwood Hotels; Paris-based AccorHotels took over the luxury portfolio of Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel; and China’s ambitious Ctrip booking platform announced its global ambitions by taking over the U.K.-based travel search engine Skyscanner.
But even as the dominant players grow stronger and bolder, new ideas are bubbling up all over that promise to change the way we experience the world. Airbnb is now applying its host-based brand of travel to tours and adventures, while new startup Lola brings chatbots into the once-stagnant booking process. Carnival Corporation is demonstrating how wearables and sensors can turn a mega-ship into a personal playground, and upstart carrier Norwegian Air is proving that low-cost transatlantic flights are viable. The 10 companies on this list—players both big and small—are transforming the travel industry and shaping its future.
Click on a company to learn more about why it made the list.
For putting a world of sophisticated experiences at our fingertips
For prioritizing loyalty while becoming a mega company
03. Vail Resorts
For cultivating powder hounds from across the globe
For becoming the all-in-one travel platform for Chinese travelers
For pulling planes, trains, and automobiles into a booking platform
06. Norwegian Air
For ushering in a new era of affordable transatlantic travel
For embracing bold hospitality brands
For evolving into a creative agency that optimizes for wanderlust
For bringing high-tech wearables to the high seas
For giving travel agents a welcome AI boost