Tripadvisor’s Experiences Business Surpasses 2019 Levels

Experience revenue has surged above 2019 levels for Tripadvisor, with a new CEO to start in July

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Experiences are leading the way in travel’s recovery as Tripadvisor’s Q1 results show the sector, coupled with dining, has passed 2019 in terms of revenue for the company.

Tripadvisor’s experiences and dining revenue was $92m in Q1 of this year. This is a 15% increase on the same period in 2019, and 229% on 2021.

The company made $262m in revenue, 113% over 2021 but 70% of 2019.

It made a loss of $34m and its adjusted EBITDA grew by $1m , with an increase in operating expenses because of the growth in experiences and dining revenue partly the cause. However, digital marketing spend was much higher.

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Tripadvisor does not usually break out Viator’s results. However, they did so in February showing that its revenue had hit 96% of 2019 during Q4 last year.

Hotel revenue has not yet seen a full recovery — increasing by 82% year-on-year but only 63% of 2019. The hotel arm has been struggling recently. Booking Holdings just reported record quarterly results.

With a recovery in air travel not expected until 2024, experiences appear to be charging ahead of the rest of the market. 

This is likely because of strong domestic demand coupled with travelers ensuring they are getting the most out of their holiday.

Arival research has shown that travelers would have more money to spend because of money saved on commuting and other expenses associated with working in an office.

However, these have been tempered by inflation and the cost-of-living crisis but agents are not yet reporting an impact on sales.

At the same time, Tripadvisor announced a new CEO — Matt Goldberg. He will succeed Steve Kaufer, who announced he was stepping down in November.

Goldberg, who will become CEO on 1 July, has extensive media and travel experience as well as with special purpose acquisition companies (Spac), Skift reported, which will fuel speculation around taking Viator public.

A Spac is designed to take a company public in a matter of months by circumventing the traditional IPO process.

CFO, Ernst Teunissen, said: “As the quarter progressed, we saw positive signs across our hotels, media and platform and experiences and dining segments, and in particular in our experiences and dining segment, which exceeded 2019 levels. 

“We see great opportunity in these categories in the future, and believe that our investments to capture more market share are delivering strong top-line growth.” 

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