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Uncovering TripAdvisor: The History Revenue Streams and Ownership Structure

TripAdvisor: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re planning a trip, you’ve most likely used TripAdvisor before. The website has become synonymous with traveler reviews and is a popular go-to for many when looking for information on accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and more.

But how much do you really know about TripAdvisor? In this article, we’ll dive into the history of the company, how it makes money, and more.

What is TripAdvisor? Let’s start with the basics.

TripAdvisor is an American travel and restaurant website company that provides a platform for users to browse and book accommodations, flights, rental cars, restaurants, and activities. The site also includes a forum for asking and answering travel-related questions, as well as a wealth of user-generated reviews and photos for a wide variety of destinations and travel-related services.

TripAdvisor’s Company History

TripAdvisor was launched in February 2000 by Stephen Kaufer, Langley Steinert, Nick Shanny, and Thomas Palka. The site was originally created to help travelers share advice and recommendations with one another.

According to Kaufer, the idea for TripAdvisor came about when he and his wife were planning a trip to Mexico and had a difficult time finding good information about the destination. Thirty-four million opinions and reviews later, and TripAdvisor has become one of the most trusted sources for travel advice on the internet.

In 2004, TripAdvisor was acquired by InterActiveCorp (IAC), a media and internet conglomerate owned by businessman and philanthropist Barry Diller. Under IAC’s ownership, TripAdvisor expanded its offerings to include vacation rentals, flights, and more.

How Does TripAdvisor Make Money? TripAdvisor makes money through advertising and booking fees.

The company operates on a pay-per-click model, where accommodations, restaurants, and other travel-related entities pay to have their listings appear at the top of search results on the site. The higher the bid, the higher the listing appears.

In addition to advertising revenue, TripAdvisor also earns money through booking fees. When users book a hotel or other accommodation through the site, TripAdvisor receives a commission from the hotel.

Similarly, when users book a flight or rental car through TripAdvisor’s platform, the site earns a commission from the airline or rental car company. TripAdvisor Funding, Valuation & Revenue

TripAdvisor became a publicly traded company in 2011 when it was spun off from IAC.

The initial public offering (IPO) raised $327 million for TripAdvisor. As of 2021, TripAdvisor’s market capitalization is over $3 billion, and the company’s annual revenue for 2020 was $604 million.

TripAdvisor was ranked the #2 most visited online travel agency (OTA) by SimilarWeb, receiving 28 million visits in January 2021.


In conclusion, TripAdvisor is a major player in the travel industry, helping millions of people plan trips and make informed decisions about where to stay, eat, and play. The company makes its money through advertising and booking fees and has seen tremendous success since its launch in 2000.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, TripAdvisor is a valuable resource for anyone looking to explore the world. TripAdvisor’s Revenue Streams: A Closer Look

In our previous article, we looked at how TripAdvisor makes money through advertising and booking fees.

In this expansion, we’ll dive deeper into TripAdvisor’s revenue streams and how the company generates income from various sources. Hotels, Media & Platform

TripAdvisor’s largest revenue stream is its Hotel segment, which includes revenue from the sale of hotel reservations, subscriptions to Business Listings, and display-based advertising.

In 2020, 69% of TripAdvisor’s revenue came from its Hotel segment. The Media & Platform segment is TripAdvisor’s second-largest revenue stream, accounting for 27% of revenue in 2020.

This segment includes revenue from display-based advertising on the site, as well as revenue from subscriptions to Business Listings for restaurants and attractions. TripAdvisor’s platform investments, such as Tripadvisor Plus and Sponsored Placements, also fall under this segment.

Experiences & Dining

Experiences & Dining is another significant revenue stream for TripAdvisor, accounting for 4% of revenue in 2020. This segment includes revenue from the sale of experiences and attractions tickets, restaurant reservations, and other dining-related products.

TripAdvisor’s acquisition of Viator in 2014 helped to strengthen its position in the experiences market.


The remaining 1% of TripAdvisor’s revenue comes from its

Other segment, which includes revenue from SmarterTravel, a travel media company owned by TripAdvisor, and other miscellaneous sources. TripAdvisor’s Ownership Structure

TripAdvisor is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol TRIP.

As of May 2021, the company had a market capitalization of over $6 billion. However, TripAdvisor has a unique ownership structure that gives its founders and early investors significant control over the company.

CEO and Co-founder Stephen Kaufer as the Largest Shareholder

Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s CEO and co-founder, is the largest individual shareholder in the company, with a 4.4% stake as of March 2021. However, Kaufer holds a special class of shares that carry 10 votes per share, while ordinary shares carry only one vote per share.

This means that Kaufer has significant voting power, despite owning a relatively small percentage of the company’s outstanding shares. Kaufer is not the only shareholder with special voting rights, however.

In total, insiders and early investors own around 65% of the voting power of TripAdvisor, despite owning just over 30% of the outstanding shares. This ownership structure has been criticized by some investors and corporate governance experts, who argue that it gives insiders too much control over the company’s direction.


In conclusion, TripAdvisor generates revenue from a variety of sources, including hotels, media and platform, experiences and dining, and other miscellaneous sources. The company’s unique ownership structure is also worth noting, as it gives insiders and early investors significant control over the company’s direction.

Despite these challenges, TripAdvisor has managed to become one of the most trusted names in the travel industry, helping millions of people around the world plan unforgettable trips. In this article, we’ve explored the revenue streams of TripAdvisor, a popular travel website and one of the largest online travel agencies in the world.

We learned that TripAdvisor generates revenue from hotels, media and platform, experiences and dining, and other miscellaneous sources. We also discussed the company’s unique ownership structure, which gives insiders and early investors significant control over the company’s direction.

Overall, TripAdvisor has become a reliable source of information for millions of travelers around the world, helping them plan unforgettable trips and experiences.

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