Forbes Says TripAdvisor - Biggest Threat to Home Away!

Mr. Gig

Member
Dec 6, 2018
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I laughed out loud when I read this from 2016. Forbes says Trip Advisor is going to emerge as the biggest rival to HomeAway & Airbnb!

I sure hope not. My experience as a host with TripAdvisor has been abysmal. Their platform, even now, two years after this article was written is just horrible. And their customer base still doesn't seem to have any idea what they're doing. I swear every time I get a reservation the person thinks they've booked a room in a hotel.

And speaking of every time I get a reservation - I hardly ever get reservations with them. Not even many requests. HomeAway keeps me almost fully booked year round. But Trip Advisor, if every single person who contacted me booked - I'd get about 3 reservations a year from them.

Forbes' point is that since Trip Advisor is such a well-entrenched player in the travel market and because they have almost half a billion travel reviews - that they are data rich. And with that data, Forbes thinks they'll be able to parlay it into some big home sharing business.

And things have really changed in the two years since Forbes wrote that article. Back in December 2016, HomeAway had 1 million listings and was considered the big kahuna. Today Airbnb has 4,000,000 listings and HomeAway has about 2.3 million.

TripAdvisor's Vacation Rentals Head of Business Development, Ben Drew told Forbes, "We help travelers to plan the perfect trip in its totality. TripAdvisor’s original raison d'être was to help travelers have amazing experiences. And that’s exactly what we’re providing with our vacation rental platform. We’ve grown our inventory by more than 16x since we launched in 2008, and we’re excited about our growth trajectory and how this will enrich the travel experience for TripAdvisor users."

I couldn't find out how many Trip Advisor has, but it's surely not the 4 million Airbnb has. I have a feeling this Forbes prediction from two years ago is going to turn out wrong.
 

CO Rideshare

New member
Dec 5, 2018
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I think you're correct that the Forbes prediction will turn out wrong. I think Trip Advisor getting into the business is a smart move, but will be very hard to actually execute on and succeed with. After all, most companies fail at product launches because they drift from their core business model and try to expand into too many areas.

Trip Advisor should stick to what they know; recommending places for people to eat, stay at, and experience when they travel. They are not Airbnb. They are not Homeaway. They are a recommendation engine that suggests things to do and places to go.

I think a great play would be to somehow integrate with Airbnb or Homeaway's systems, and drive play to each other's competitive advantages. I'm actually surprised that more companies don't work together like that. They each have millions upon millions of users, and are deeply entrenched in their own businesses. If these companies were to team up together and complement each other's services, they'd form an unstoppable conglomerate that would be very, very, very hard to topple, or even compete with!
 

Graham

Member
Feb 4, 2019
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What City & State do you work in?
Glendale AZ
To be perfectly honest, I've never even heard of Home Away. But a threat to Airbnb? That seems pretty laughable, especially since T.A.'s volume of bookings seems so miniscule in comparison to Airbnb's.
 

Mr. Gig

Member
Dec 6, 2018
93
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Yeah, I think Trip Advisor's home-share bookings are small compared to Airbnb. But the thing is... they have their huge travel site with millions of visitors each and every month. All there to talk about travel. So, it should be relatively easy for them to siphon away a lot of business from Air. But to do that they'd have to be doing things right. And I don't get the feeling they're doing anything right... except perhaps besides their marketing.
 

Graham

Member
Feb 4, 2019
141
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What City & State do you work in?
Glendale AZ
"And I don't get the feeling they're doing anything right... except perhaps besides their marketing."

Sometimes that's all it takes, though. Just look at Men's Wearhouse. For the longest time they only did suits. But then they started doing tuxedos too. They didn't do much besides advertise it on TV, and that was enough to put SERIOUS squeeze on smaller tuxedo shops around the country.

But anyways, my only guess for Trip Advisor's performance in the home-renting economy is that perhaps it's mostly an older demographic who uses it, and they're too used to doing things the old fashioned way (booking hotels, etc.) I could be wrong, though.