One of the first travel websites that championed user-generated-content celebrates 16 years in business this year. The website, of course, is TripAdvisor which for many in the online community is the travel mecca for tips on where to stay, where to eat, what to do and what to avoid as well!
In the Beginning, There Was a Pizza Shop…
Humble beginnings certainly ring true for the TripAdvisor origins story. It started life above a tiny pizza place in Needham, Massachusetts, in February 2000. The tiny pizza place was called Kostas. It was co-founded by Stephen Kaufer and Langley Steinert. Kaufer is still very much involved today as President and CEO.
16 Years Later, it is the World’s Largest Travel Website…Some of the statistics that surround TripAdvisor are key to showcasing how it has resonated with its users. Its user-generated-content model has allowed for:
- 46 million images uploaded to the site.
- 2,600 new topics posted to its forums every day.
- 190 new contributions posted every minute.
- 85% of answers to questions asked in its English-speaking forums posted within 24 hours.
Its Eco-System is Much More Than a Single Website…
While TripAdvisor is its core brand, the company owns 23 other travel websites. These websites generate more than 350 million unique monthly visitors combined (including TripAdvisor). The company operations are global with:
- Operations in 47 countries
- More than 3,000 employees.
- More than 90 million marketable members.
Other brands that the company owns and operates include; AirfareWatchdog, BookingBuddy, CruiseCritic, Independent Traveler and Jetsetter.
Things That Might Surprise You…
There are more restaurants listed than hotels. In fact there are reviews and opinions listed for 3 million restaurants and counting. The average rating is really positive at more than 4 out of 5 despite what many people might think. The majority of TripAdvisor’s web traffic actually comes from outside the USA.
For a visual illustration, have a look at the infographic below.
Peter Corcoran is the Owner and Director of SunSearch Holidays, based in Dublin, Ireland, where he has been organising travel arrangements for his customers for the past 20 years. He regularly creates content such as infographics on topics that relate to the wider travel, tourism and hospitality industries.