Viator Rebounds as Tripadvisor Plots IPO or Sale

Parent company Tripadvisor breaks out Experiences revenue for the first time as Viator revenue hits 96% of 2019 levels in fourth quarter

Reading Time: 3 minutes 3 seconds

Viator, the largest global online travel agency (OTA) for tours, activities and attractions, reported significant growth in 2021. The Experiences division of parent company Tripadvisor generated $183 million in revenue for the full year 2021. This is 64% of 2019, when Experiences revenue reached $288 million.

TripAdvisor Experiences revenue

The company also revealed significant gains over the course of 2021. By the fourth quarter, Experiences revenue had reached 96% of 2019 levels, up significantly from 27% in the first quarter. Viator’s 2020 revenue dropped dramatically due to the pandemic to just $55 million, or 19% of 2019.

This is the first time that Tripadvisor has broken out Experiences from its Experiences & Dining division. Experiences represent bookings of tours, activities and attractions via Viator. Tripadvisor revealed the additional financial detail in its annual shareholder letter, and added that the Viator website and app represent a majority of total Experiences bookings, followed by and then all other affiliate channels. 

Speaking on the earnings call, Tripadvisor CFO and Chief Executive for Viator, TheFork and Cruise Critic Ernst Teunissen said, “By far the largest component of revenue is the point of sale. A significant but smaller channel is Viator is the fulfiller of that channel. But it is an important channel. A third but much smaller channel is other third-parties.”

Other third-party channels include Expedia, and Groupon.

Arival 360 | SAN DIEGO 2024

30 September – 3 October 2024

Insider Pro Access Members Save 20%

THE event of the year for solutions-focused In-Destination Experience
creators and sellers

Save up to $660 with the Spring Savings ticket

Learn More

IPO or Sale?

In the shareholder letter, the company reaffirmed its intent to pursue a financial transaction with Viator. 

“We are continuing to evaluate opportunities related to Viator… This includes evaluating opportunities with industry participants as well as independent opportunities, including a potential sub-IPO, which would involve selling a minority stake of the Viator business to the public market.”

The company also indicated that it has filed a confidential S-1 document with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of the process. Companies file confidential S-1 registrations in order to keep financial information hidden longer during the process of going public.  Airbnb and Uber both initially filed confidential S-1s. 

The industry will be watching closely to see whether the process ultimately culminates in an IPO or an acquisition by a strategic industry player. Strategic industry acquirers could include Booking Holdings, Expedia, (formerly Ctrip), and possibly even Airbnb. 

Viator powers some of the tours and activities content for Expedia and, and had made a significant investment in Tripadvisor in 2019, although some reporting suggests that partnership may have cooled off. 

Airbnb has made a number of mostly smaller acquisitions and had mixed success with its own efforts in the experiences sector. The company also led the last investment round in attraction-tickets OTA Tiqets in 2019.

However, an outright sale to another online travel company that also competes with Tripadvisor may be less likely. Experiences & Dining has been a fast growing division, while the company has struggled with some initiatives in its hotels business. 

Teunissen indicated in the earnings call that Viator would remain strategically important to Tripadvisor: “Experiences is an important strategic vector for Tripadvisor the brand. Increasingly, it becomes important for our travelers when they’re in market to… figure out what interesting things they can do. The fact that we have Viator as a company in our portfolio and later perhaps with a more arm’s length relationship is important and a strategic focus for Tripadvisor the brand. Tripadvisor has ambitious goals to grow its channel there, and Viator will benefit from that in the future as well.”


Sign up to receive insights tailored for the in-destination industry as well as updates on Arival.

Sign Up
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


already a member?

Lost your password?


Become an Arival Insider

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021. articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Arival ProShield – Insurance program
Access to tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access Members. Insider Pro Access Members also have access to a suite of resources from Granite Insurance including templates, forms and other informative documents.

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events and in online community spaces:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for inclusion, diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from any event or community space at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected].