TripAdvisor wants to utilize massive user base to grow tours/activities

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TripAdvisor has high hopes for its Experiences division, claiming that there is plenty of room for growth as more suppliers shift online.

The company recently bought Bokun, with the acquisition of the technology provider being a major part of its strategy to bring in more inventory and those products being available at the last minute to travelers.

The deal, according to TripAdvisor CEO and president, Steve Kaufer, allows the overall platform to provide a better experience to travelers so that can use their mobile in-destination to make a booking, rather than relying on customers buying a product before they start their journey.

Kaufer was speaking to investors after TripAdvisor's first quarter financial results for 2018, where the company saw Experiences and restaurants grow 36% from $58 million in Q1 2017 to $79 million in the same period this year.

He says: "It's tapping into the demand that we have. And while we certainly have competitors, who are selling experiences online, it's much less us versus them, in my view, than growing the total size of the pie that is booked online -- that's the huge opportunity over the next several years."

TripAdvisor says it has a forecast of 80-plus percent growth for "many years to come" in terms of the number of suppliers coming onboard.

Part of the strategy to get more supply will include a "whole bunch of tech investments under the covers", Kaufer claims.

Tapping in-house demand

CFO Ernst Teunissen says the core TripAdvisor brand is the "most scalable platform" for the Experiences business, with users already on the pages checking its existing hotel content.

He adds: "We have so many users already on our experiences pages on TA and able to continue penetration there, continue conversion there, is a huge opportunity for us and also economically a very attractive opportunity because we have so much traffic already on our site that we don't have to additionally acquire."

To complement this, Kaufer says there will come a time when the company's existing brand advertising, such as on television, will be used to drive more awareness of the wider TripAdvisor offering, in particular Experiences.

Teunissen adds: "There's a big focus on making sure that more and more supply is bookable on our site. "Both, the Viator site, but particularly also the TripAdvisor site. So that's a big focus area, making sure we have more and more supply to put in front of the large audience that we have already."
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Source: PhocusWire

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