Why 2021 is the year of the travel IPO
08/25/2021|7:06:42 PM|Skift

More travel companies are on track to go public this year than in any other year in recent memory. The activity has surpassed most forecasts made during the pandemic, even accounting for how many travel companies said in January that they were considering initial public offerings, or (IPOs).

One factor amping up activity has been the sudden popularity of merging with blank check companies, also known as “special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

This year a dozen travel companies have already gone public or are expected to go public. That statement uses a classic definition of “travel,” covering suppliers, such as airlines and vacation lodging providers — plus the tech vendors and aggregators that depend on the travel industry. Up to seven more travel companies may announce plans to go public before year-end.

Decisive historical statements are elusive, though. Analysts don’t share a settled definition of “travel company.” Some track more all-encompassing categories of “transportation and hospitality,” which can include charter jet operators, flying taxi makers, ride-hailing firms, and event management software makers. Including those types of businesses adds another dozen or so companies to this year’s list.

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