August 11, 2017

OTAs and hotels aren’t bidding as much on TripAdvisor as they used to

The softness in pricing in TripAdvisor’s hotel auction, along with a greater-than expected shift of consumers perusing hotels to mobile devices, which monetize lower than desktop levels, led TripAdvisor to lower its click-based and transaction revenue growth expectations for 2017.

Even TripAdvisor officials don’t know exactly how to interpret the softness in the July hotel auctions, which can have some volatility - or they aren’t extensively elaborating and naming advertisers.

Asked whether the softness was TripAdvisor-specific or might be related to wider trends, CEO Steven Kaufer said the company doesn’t have insights into individual companies’ marketing-spend decisions, adding that he doesn’t believe the wrinkle was purely a TripAdvisor phenomenon.

He said TripAdvisor saw the softness in cost-per-click bidding globally - so not in one specific market or region - and that it wasn’t a consistent trend among a broad swath of clients. Kaufer said it is very possible that the weaker bidding might reverse itself.

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