Experiences and Dining are leading the way in terms of year-on-year growth at Tripadvisor, as Q2 results have shown a 386% increase in revenue from the segment to $68 million.
However, this is only 54% of the revenue from Experiences and Dining in the same quarter of 2019, and shows just how dramatic the impact of the pandemic was in the first half of 2020.
Total revenue for the company, which operates Viator, grew by almost 300% to $235 million year-on-year. This is 56% of 2019 levels. Once adjusted for EBITDA, earnings represent a profit of $25 million for Q2 2021.
The recovery has been led by domestic travel in the U.S., followed by Europe which picked up later in the quarter.
The sharp increase in spending on experiences has “occurred sooner than we expected”.
Inner cities are not performing as well as outdoors for the online travel company. Trips outside the city are “very strong”.
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Earlier this year, the company launched its new subscription model, Tripadvisor Plus, in the United States. This provides discounts and perks to travelers for $99 per year.
Experiences are included in the program, and company CEO Steve Kaufer, speaking on the quarterly earnings call last week, said TripAdvisor was testing ways to promote the subscription service within the Experiences booking flow.
Kaufer put the recovery down to increased vaccination rates and reopenings.
“We believe increased vaccination rates and reopenings across the globe are both undeniably positive steps towards travel’s eventual full recovery and we are pleased with our business’s demonstrated resilience,” Kaufer said.
The results are “better than our internal expectations”, CFO Ernst Teunissen said in prepared remarks.
Teunissen said on the earnings call: “We’re very pleased with our performance in experiences. Very pleased, in particular, with the performance of our Viator point-of-sale.
“We have seen experiences as a category come back much faster than we anticipated in Q2. And we anticipated that the lack of international travel that we’ve historically benefited from with experiences would slow down the recovery.
“What we’ve seen is we’ve been very effective at repositioning our offer towards more domestics, particularly in the U.S. More recently, Europe and away from big city to outside the city. That’s been very, very effective for us — very strong.”