TripAdvisor's total revenue rose 8% in the fourth quarter of
2018 to $346 million and grew 4% for the full year to $1.62 billion.
In prepared remarks, CEO Steve Kaufer said the company "reinvigorated
hotel segment profitability while growing experiences and restaurants, two key
strategic investment areas."
Consolidated adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization) in the fourth quarter was up 38% to $87
million and for the full year it grew 27% to $422 million.
TripAdvisor said it now has 2.2 million accommodation
listings on its site, including 1.3 million hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts
and specialty lodging and 875,000 rentals.
Kaufer said the new TripAdvisor publishing platform that
launched in November 2018 is reinforcing the brand as "the de facto hub
for travel planning."
In the coming year, TripAdvisor's Core Experience team,
which built the new platform, will develop strategies to "serve members,
drive loyalty and increase monetization across our verticals."
As part of that, Kaufer says the company will diversify the
brand advertising message to highlight TripAdvisor's "holistic consumer
value proposition," rather than focusing on its hotel price comparison
TripAdvisor's non-hotel segment now includes one million
activities and experiences and 4.9 million restaurant listings.
The company says revenue from this segment grew 27% for the
full year 2018 to $458 million and now account for 28% of total revenue -- up
from 23% in 2017.
When rentals are excluded from this segment, non-hotel
revenue grew even more -- 40% for the full year. Much of that is tied to
TripAdvisor's acquisition of Bokun in 2018. The TripAdvisor platform had 83,000
bookable experience products at the end of 2017 and 159,000 at the end of 2018,
an increase of more than 90%.
Quoting Phocuswright research that the tours and activities
sector will grow to $129 billion in 2020, Kaufer said TripAdvisor is "stepping
on the gas in product, supply and marketing."
As part of that, the company is adding development and sales
staff across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific and adding non-English
content and local payment options.