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5 Stocks to Buy as Holiday Season Travel Gathers Steam

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The United States is reopening and the holiday season is approaching. After witnessing almost no travel last year, millions of Americans are once again planning vacations. So,the holiday season is likely to give a much-needed boost to the travel and tourism industry.

Thanksgiving Travel to Rise

According to a new survey from The Vacationer, around 109 million people plan to travel this year on Thanksgiving. Among them, 10.5% will likely travel by plane.

Last year, the Thanksgiving survey showed that 29.3% planned to travel to a vacation destination. This year,the figure has jumped to 42.4%, marking an increase of 44.6%. Understandably, after having put their travel plans in the backburner, millions of Americans are planning to travel and go on holidays this year following vaccination and economy reopening.

Moreover, the survey shows that more than 20% of those traveling on Thanksgiving plans to spend more than $500 on things like hotels, tickets and flights.

Another survey from Amex Trendex shows that at least 47% of the respondents have plans to travel to one destination this holiday season. Moreover, 77% plans to vacation with their significant other this holiday season than exchange gifts.

Vacation Making a Comeback

According to the survey by The Vacationer, a total of 161 million or 62.7% Americans are projected to travel this holiday season, which suggests is a 45% jump from last year. The margin looks huge given that travel had come to almost a standstill last year due to the pandemic.

Although fears of the Delta variant of coronavirus had left many undecided about planning their holiday, the scene is fast changing. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), COVID-19 cases have declined more than 50% from the recent peak following the spread of the Delta variant.

Moreover, this year, the vaccination drive is also in full swing, which wasn’t the case in 2020. With more people vaccinated now, they are feeling safer to step outside their homes and travel. Also, personal spending is on the rise, indicating that the people holidaying are likely to spend more this time around. Personal spending increased 0.6% in September and 1.6% in the third quarter of 2021.

Our Choices

Given this scenario, it would be ideal to invest in stocks that are likely to benefit from a rise in travel and vacation this holiday season. We have picked five stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) that are poised to benefit in the near term. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG - Free Report) offers information and reservations capability on the Internet for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn hotels, Holiday Inn Express hotels, and Staybridge Suites by Holiday Inn hotels.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 7.5% over the past 60 days.  Intercontinental Hotels Groupcarries a Zacks Rank #2.

Choice Hotels International (CHH - Free Report)  is one of the largest hotel franchisors globally. As of Jun 30, 2021, the company had 7,111 hotels open, representing nearly 600,000 rooms. This hotel chain is spread across 40 countries and territories internationally and is present in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 77%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 3.1% over the past 60 days.  Choice Hotelscarries a Zacks Rank #2.

Pool Corporation (POOL - Free Report) is the world's largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment and related products. In addition, the company is a leading regional wholesale distributor of irrigation and landscape products. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 80.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 6.8% over the past 60 days. Pool Corporation has a Zacks Rank #1.

Mastercraft Boat Holdings, Inc. (MCFT - Free Report) designs, manufactures and markets recreational powerboats through its subsidiaries. The company's operating segment consists of MasterCraft and NauticStar.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 18.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 11.3% over the past 60 days. Mastercraft Boat carries a Zacks Rank #2.

RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. (RICK - Free Report) owns and operates adult nightclubs that offer live adult entertainment, restaurant and bar services.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The company’s shares have gained 10.5% over the past three months. RCI Hospitality Holdings has a Zacks Rank #2.