ALPS Launches Travel ETF

JRNY aims for exposure to travel stocks and ‘beneficiaries.’

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Reviewed by: Dan Mika
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Edited by: Dan Mika

SS&C is launching an ETF that covers the travel industry and its complementing industries.

The ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF (JRNY) debuted on the NYSE Arca Thursday with an expense ratio of 0.65%. It tracks a custom index that includes companies with market capitalizations of at least $100 million that operate within the airline, hotel, casino, cruise and rental agency industries.

The index also follows “ancillary beneficiary” industries that stand to benefit from increased travel, such as aircraft parts suppliers and food service companies.

In an interview, SS&C ALPS Advisors President Laton Spahr said the fund uses machine learning to identify companies that aren’t specifically noted as travel industry players but derive significant revenue from travel spending.

JRNY’s broader mandate gives it exposure to many of the same companies that would be in existing travel ETFs like the Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF (CRUZ), the ETFMG Travel Tech ETF (AWAY) and the U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS). It’s also the second-most expensive of the bunch, with AWAY costing 10 more basis points.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious turbulence for travel in general, Spahr expects travel spending to rise in a cyclical recovery within the next three years, with leisure travel taking precedence over business travel.

“It’s a little bit of the ultimate reflection of the human desire to want to experience new things,” he said.

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Dan Mika is a reporter for etf.com. He has previously covered business for the Ames Tribune and Cedar Rapids Gazette in Iowa, and BizWest Media in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dan holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Truman State University.