Back in the day leisure travel was for the initiated and the wealthy.In order to plan any considerable vacation, people needed to pay a Travel Agent to assist with research, reservations and logistics.
Fast forward to the early 90s.Now computers are in millions of households and soon after Internet access becomes mainstream. Regular leisure travelers start to gain access to destination information, places to stay and look up prices. This first hand access to information was a game changer to the point that today travel agencies are virtually extinct and more than 95% of travel reservations are done online directly by the traveler.
Soon after consumers start to be able to shop for travel products. Online travel agencies like Expedia and Booking.com became the primary way for people to shop and compare prices. All these businesses make their money by charging commissions or markups that are included in the retail prices travelers pay.
During the same period, Cruises, All-Inclusive Resorts became very popular as a cost-efficient way for people to safely travel to more exotic and distant destinations.
Another way people vacation is on private vacation homes. Many families resorted to own vacation homes in popular seasonal vacation destinations. This is a way to enjoy a home away from home but it came at a very high cost. Overtime, more affordable alternatives became available and continue to be very popular today like Vacation Rentals and Timeshare Properties. Although more affordable than owning a Vacation Property, these alternatives involve a significant initial investment and high maintenance costs.
Today the Travel Business represents globally a more than $8 Trillion Dollar industry.