Tripadvisor has long attracted subscription revenue from hotels and restaurants, but it is poised in the next few months to launch its first subscription program for consumers.
During the company’s third-quarter earnings call on 6th November, CEO Steve Kaufer said the subscription plan would offer discounts to travelers for hotels and attractions, and it would also be able to deliver special perks and experiences during the trip.
Although plans aren’t finalized, Kaufer said the program may call for discounted and opaque hotel offerings behind a paywall such as Priceline and Hotwire long have offered.
From Tripadvisor’s Q3 shareholder letter: “Within the next few months we intend to start rolling out a new subscription-based, direct-to-consumer offering that enables us to serve travelers in a whole new way and help them get more value out of their travel experiences. Subscribers will be able to access valuable deals and perks across tens of thousands of top-ranked hotels as well as exclusive savings on our nearly 400,000 bookable experiences and, like other gold standard consumer subscription services, we plan to add more benefits to deliver more value to consumers over time. We are cautious with our expectations in launching any new product in travel right now and the initial launch will be limited in product and geographical scope by design.”
With its direct relationships with tens of thousands of hotels and aggregators, as well as 400,000 tours and activities providers, “Tripadvisor is in ‘a wonderful position’ to offer special experiences to consumer subscribers”. Tripadvisor, Kaufer said, had around 400 million unique monthly visitors pre-Covid, and a substantial portion might be amenable to the subscription product with discounts, upgrades on their hotel rooms, or a special meal when they are planing or booking trips. Tripadvisor already has more than 100 million “members,” which is currently a free service.
In addition to business listings’ subscription plans for hotels and restaurants, Tripadvisor announced recently that it would debut reputation management and business intelligence subscription programs for these sectors.