TripAdvisor Tanking, More Visitors, Less Bookings

TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer still optimistic.

How the mighty have fallen. TripAdvisor is now in deep trouble with its transition to a hotel search and booking site going backwards.

Of major concern is that the steps taken by TripAdvisor’s leadership to turn its hotel business around – “a fresh new look”,  “streamlined hotel shopping experience” and  increased brand advertising – have actually accelerated the decline.

Rubbing more salt into the wound is the fact TripAdvisor has never been more popular as a review site (monthly visits exceed 455 million) and yet booking revenue is down.

It’s now clear Founder Steve Kaufer was kidding himself when he told investors in early August that, “It is still very early, but these efforts are showing signs of success.”

At that time hotel bookings were slowing but still in the black.  Not any more. During the third quarter, advertisers cut their spend while “click-based and transaction revenue and revenue per hotel shopper to decline by 5% and 11%, respectively.

“These softer than expected click-based and transaction results led to negative 3% Hotel segment revenue growth in the period.”

On the upside, its restaurant and attractions business grew strongly and Kaufer remained determinedly optimistic.

“Despite the recent headwinds, we are pleased with our progress aligning our product experience with our consumer marketing campaigns, and we are confident this will enable us build more fruitful, long-lasting relationships with the more than 163 million average monthly hotel shoppers on our site during the quarter.

“In our Non-Hotel segment, positive momentum continues to build, particularly in our Attractions and Restaurants businesses.

“Non-Hotel revenue grew 26% in Q3, and we are investing to broaden our marketplace, grow bookable supply, improve the product experience and further deepen traveler engagement with our platform throughout more moments of every trip.”

TripAdvisor shares are down 23% since announcing its third quarter results.


Share and Enjoy:

5 thoughts on “TripAdvisor Tanking, More Visitors, Less Bookings”

  1. Interesting. Are you aware that businesses have to have a listing on TripAdvisor once created and they can’t leave unless they close and prove it. What other booking site in the world do you have to have a listing with? And one that places affiliate marketing all over the page. Their hotel collection is literally all the businesses ever reviewed in the world.

  2. I reckon its a Usability issue… its gotta be the worst designed website to navigate and use in tourism… This can be easily fixed with simple design and navigation chages which would have an amazing impact to their bottom line in my view… If they sort this out they’ll get the revenues firing

  3. Clearly the new TripAdvisor website (compared to the old one) is confusing to navigate and is illogical in many ways. For example, under the new Website the default page now goes to “Best Value” not “Best Reviews”. In doing so, once can assume that many users of the website will no t be aware of this because in the past TA always took them directly to the “Review Rankings” page or a specific location”. But now the TripAdvisor “Wizard of Oz” computer has really jumbled things up. What might be considered by a guest as “Best Value” is too subjective for TA to start ranking this way. In my opinion, with TA ndefaulting guests to the “Best Value” can adds a new level of confusion and possible mistrust. Inkeepers as well as savy travelers could easily wonder if “Best Value” ranking page might have something to do with the number of Instant Bookings a property gets where TA gets their commission. Maybe yes, Maybe No. But in my opinion, TA has opened the door to these kinds of suspicions. It’ a shame. It really is.

Comments are closed.