Stocks to buy

3 Must-Buy Travel Stocks for a Journey to High Returns

The holiday season is around the corner. Some argue that this is one of the most awaited festivities of the year, bringing most families together during this yuletide season. People plan to travel to their cherished hometowns or a new destination for a holiday getaway. Either way, it provides investors with opportunities to take advantage of the surge in the travel industry, and some are on the lookout for travel stocks to buy.

The Christmas holiday season is one of the busiest days for the travel and leisure sector as people flock to book flights, plan vacations, and enjoy end-of-year festivities. This holiday season boosts seasonal earnings that can add revenue needed to push profitable companies into record highs. If you are looking for potential companies that can help you squeeze out some profits before the year ends, then look no further. These three companies are at the top of the pile, as they have the potential to take a big piece of the cake this holiday season.

Viad Corp (VVI)

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Viad (NYSE:VVI) is a leading provider of leisure travel, live events and marketing that offers hotels, lodges, sightseeing and ground transportation services. Its Pursuit segment provides access to the Alaska Collection, FlyOver, Sky Lagoon, the Glacier Park Collection and the Banff Jasper Collection. The company also offers exhibition services under its GES Exhibitions segment and marketing services under its Spiro segment. 

VVI reported a solid third quarter, with earnings beating analysts’ expectations by 14.62%. While its third-quarter revenue decreased, the company said this was due to the timing of its major non-annual shows and the sale of our non-core audio-visual business.

Viad’s results showed positive signs with its net income and consolidated adjusted EBITDA. In addition, its Pursuit segment experienced robust growth and margins, fueling the strong quarter. The company’s CEO, Steve Moster, praised Pursuit’s success, which was driven by increased international tourism and the effective implementation of revenue strategies despite the challenges in its GES segment. This strong optimism for sustained growth and raised guidance for the entire year makes VVI one of our top travel stocks to buy.

Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE)

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The next stock on our list is arguably one of the world’s leading full-service online travel brands. Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) owns popular brands such as Hotels.com, Expedia.com and Wotif. The company partners with businesses like online retailers, airlines, offline travel agents and financial institutions, to name a few. Expedia also generates revenue via advertising and referrals from its metasearch websites. The company previously announced its partnership with Afterpay to widen its reach in Australia by offering flexible payments.

Expedia Group reported a solid third-quarter performance by achieving record revenue and profitability that exceeded company guidance. Despite a slight dip in operating income, its adjusted EBITDA hit a record $1.2 billion, with a 13% increase in its margin expansion YoY. Expedia’s earnings also beat analyst expectations by 6.36%. This strong performance has helped EXPE approve a $5 billion share repurchase authorization to boost shareholder value while cementing its long-term outlook on its future. This strong performance and company confidence in long-term profitability puts EXPE in our best travel stocks. 

Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG)

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The last company on our list is familiar with backpackers and frequent travelers. Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) is one of the biggest travel marketplaces in the world for entrepreneurs and brands of all sizes. The company comprises six leading consumer-facing brands: Booking.com, OpenTable, Inc., KAYAK, Rentalcars.com, Priceline.com and Agoda.com. These brands cater to various travel and leisure services, from hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, airline tickets and more. 

BKNG reported an impressive 3rd quarter with a 24% surge in gross travel bookings and a 15% increase in room nights booked YoY. The company earnings beat estimates by 6.57%. Total revenues rose to $7.3 billion, a 21% increase YoY, while non-GAAP net income rose by 24% for the same period. Company CEO Glenn Fogel highlighted that the success is due to the intense summer travel season and the robust travel demand. The company’s focus on strategic priorities puts BKNG in an excellent position for long-term success. Combined with its strong financials, BKNG is another travel stock worth buying.

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

Rick Orford is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author, investor, influencer, and mentor. His work has appeared in the most authoritative publications, including Good Morning America, Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC News.

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