TripAdvisor Saw Experiences and Restaurants as Major Growth Contributors in 2018

Several years ago, TripAdvisor’s experiences and restaurants operations were growing strongly, but they were still a relatively small portion of the company’s overall business, which focused on hotels.

But in 2018, as the company disclosed Tuesday, those two businesses, along with alternative accommodations, which the company hardly mentions these days, accounted for 27 percent, or $458 million, of TripAdvisor’s $1.61 billion in total revenue. That’s up from 23 percent of TripAdvisor’s total revenue in 2017.

For the fourth quarter, TripAdvisor saw non-hotel earnings climb from a non-material amount to $8 million on a 38 percent revenue jump to $106 million. Non-hotel earnings for the full year stood at $45 million, up 47 percent year over year.

TripAdvisor’s non-hotel segment currently consists of experiences, restaurants and alternative accommodations, with the latter not being a strategic focus given the hyper-competition in apartments and vacation rentals from Airbnb, and other players.

When TripAdvisor excludes alternative accommodations from the mix, its non-hotel business actually grew at a 40 percent clip in 2018, the company reported.

The fact that alternative accommodations is dragging down the rest of the non-hotel segment has led to TripAdvisor considering a new way of reporting its earnings in the near future, according to the company. It wants to be able to isolate the robust growth of experiences and restaurants as a transparency matter for investors.

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