Following The Rapid Growth Of TripAdvisor

By | Posted:

A Story Of Growth By Acquisitions 

TripAdvisor is a pioneer of user-generated content. It started off as an official travel content provider but its user reviews were more popular, and so the company made some effective choices to catapult it toward success. In this article, we’ll analyze how the company scaled its business.

An Amazing Expansion Of The Tourist Industry

TripAdvisor was purchased by IAC, InterActiveCorp, in 2004. A year later, IAC spun off its travel businesses to Expedia (EXPE). Between 2007 and 2008, the company acquired a string of travel-related companies, such as Smarter Travel Media, The Independent Traveler, Holiday Watchdog, and Virtualtourist. In 2008, it acquired the United States–based FlipKey.com, marking its entry into vacation rental homes. In 2009, TripAdvisor launched its official site in China, www.daodao.com, and also purchased Kuxun.cn in a bid to expand its international business.

The next year, TripAdvisor acquired the United Kingdom’s largest independent vacation rental website, holidaylettings.co.uk, deepening its presence in the sector. At the same time, its Media Group launched a unique concept called SniqueAway (now Jetsetter). This was the first members-only site where each travel deal was endorsed by users themselves.

TripAdvisor spun off from Expedia in 2011. After this move, it continued to strengthen and grow its network inside the United States by acquiring Where I’ve Been, a Chicago-based Facebook (FB) app, Wanderfly, an NYC-based travel inspiration website, and GateGuru, an NYC-based flight and airport information mobile app. These acquisitions helped the company become the world’s largest travel site with nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors.

In May 2014, TripAdvisor acquired the Massachusetts-based VacationHomeRentals.com. Today, vacation rental listings have crossed 740,000. TRIP also forayed into the restaurant reservation business in May 2014, with its acquisition of LaFourchette, a leading online restaurant reservation provider mainly in France and Spain. Today, TRIP gets ~200 million page views from its restaurant traffic.

In November 2014, the company announced a very significant acquisition of Viator, the world’s largest online tour and activity booking agency. This is now TripAdvisor’s third-largest source of demand, after hotels and restaurants.

TRIP also launched a new feature, “Just for you,” which offers tailored hotel recommendations based on the user’s preferences and search history.

They Continue to Expand and Grow

TripAdvisor is a young company and is in its growth phase. The company continues to make acquisitions to expand its portfolio as well as its reach. This year, the company acquired a Dutch restaurant review website, Lens, and a Dutch website for reserving seats in a restaurant, SeatMe. It also acquired Portuguese startup BestTables, strengthening its hold on the restaurant reservation business.

TripAdvisor forms ~1.4% of the holdings in the S&P Equal Weight Consumer Discretionary ETF (RCD) and industry leader Priceline (PCLN) in 1.12% of the fund.

This article was previously published by Ally Schimdt on Market Realist on Nov 30, 2015: