TripAdvisor has high hopes for its Experiences division,
claiming that there is plenty of room for growth as more suppliers shift
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
TripAdvisor says it has a forecast of 80-plus percent growth
for "many years to come" in terms of the number of suppliers coming
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
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