Subscription-based services are popping up everywhere, and the travel industry is no exception. The general consensus is that subscriptions are a promising and lucrative niche in travel, and one cliche has it that they're the "frontier of loyalty." We've already witnessed significant success stories. For example, eDreams ODIGEO (the paragon of this model) earns 40% of its sales from subscription fees.
As often happens with new topics, travel subscriptions are under-researched by academics, and our knowledge of them mostly comes from data provided by the market itself. This paper is one of the very first attempts to investigate and evaluate the universe of travel subscriptions in the US. It draws on dozens of publications, case studies of major travel companies (including Alaska Airlines, United, citizenM, Costco Travel, and Tripadvisor), and expert interviews with market insiders.
The majority of travel subscription services appeared in the last two years, a boom that may be related to the model's popularity among millennials and Gen Z and the growing number of digital nomads.
At the beginning of 2023, we identified and categorized 49 US-based travel subscription services.
One of the most popular categories is discounts and savings, 13 companies are represented here. Services in this category aim to streamline travel through savings and curated deals, and users are responding enthusiastically.