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The In-Depth Analysis Of The Business Model Of TripAdvisor – World’s Most Famous Travel Aggregator

Updated on: Sep 22, 2021
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In the last blog, we tackled the business model of Treebo Hotels –  the raising mid-tier hotel chain in India. Today we will dig into the business model of TripAdvisor – a worldwide travel options aggregator and booking website.

TripAdvisor is one of the world’s largest and most well-known travel and online flight and hotel reservation websites. It was founded in Massachusetts in the United States in the year 2000. Stephen Kaufer is the company’s founder. Since its inception, the ease of use of its website and amazing booking options have flung this travel options aggregator into fame and fortune.

TripAdvisor is among the slew of companies that made their fortune based on the internet. As users across the world go digital, marketing has followed them to the digital realm as well. If you are interested in new-age digital marketing, then you should definitely check out IIDE’s Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by our CEO and Founder, Karan Shah.

In this case study, we’ll take a closer look at the business model of TripAdvisor and decode its success. Let us begin this journey by first understanding more about the company.



About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a public website that caters to a global audience. Stephen Kaufer, Langley Steinert, and Saman Mortazavi founded the website, or rather a corporation, in Needham, Massachusetts in the year 2000.

The website’s major goal was and continues to be, to make it easier for anyone planning trips, tours, and journeys to get useful information that would make their vacation run more smoothly and be easier to plan. Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings owns TripAdvisor now.

There are travel-related reviews as well as interactive travel forums on the site, which directly employs over 3,000 employees and receives 4.5 million monthly visitors. It made about US $1.4 billion in revenues in 2020 with a global presence in over 50 countries. Creating a good website can be a game-changer for any business in today’s world and TripAdvisor is a great example of that. If you are someone who wants to learn more in-depth about website creation and management, check out IIDE’s WordPress Website Panning and Development Course to get started.

Now that we’ve had a good picture about the basic information relating to the company, let’s start exploring the business model of TripAdvisor 

Business Model of TripAdvisor

A business model is the very essence of the company’s existence, denoting its function and its way of gathering profits. The things or services that the company expects to sell, target markets, and any estimated costs form the very fundamentals of the company’s business model. So let us start by learning more about the services offered by TripAdvisor.

Services of TripAdvisor

The website offers travel-related products with global coverage and accessibility. Vacation rentals, hotel and airfare bookings, tours and travel guides, and restaurant recommendations are just a few of the company’s key offerings. If you are an American who has never visited Africa, Turkey, or Indonesia and are intending to visit Bali or Istanbul, or even the abundant game in Kenya and Uganda, then TripAdvisor is one of the websites you should visit as it aggregates services beyond the usual travel and accommodation. Unlike its competitors, the business model of TripAdvisor hinges on being more holistic and helps travellers plan every step of the way.

The site has a wealth of information and reviews to assist you in making an informed selection. In a word, the website’s offerings should allow a potential tourist to obtain the greatest available travel services.

Let’s take a look at the TripAdvisor company’s target market.

Target Audience of TripAdvisor

Since the business model of TripAdvisor is holistic and tries to impart very exciting travel experiences, that its target demographic is the middle and upper-income traveller segment, based on the suggested places and blogs. They are especially focused on catering to families and their blogs and travel guides have a lot of family vacation itineraries to interest their patrons.

The company’s target customers are all travel lovers who use any operating system device to look for online assistance with travel services. As a result, they’ve created application platforms that work with all of the major operating systems, including Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Android OS, WatchOS, and iOS. Knowing how to make an application has become a must for most organisations to cater to their customers better. If you are interested in learning more about how to create and optimize an application, you should check out our App Store Optimization Course.

Now that we know who TripAdvisor’s target audience is, let’s look at how the company uses its advertising to approach to reach out to them.

Business Strategy of TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is unquestionably the world’s largest travel site, with over 465 million reviews and selections for restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions. It also boasts 315 million members, but what is it about the organization that has resulted in such a big customer base? The answer lies in the business strategies employed by TripAdvisor.

One of TripAdvisor’s most effective strategies is to offer business visitors access to the site and add information that the firm values. As a result, several travel-related businesses have expressed an interest in having their content published on the site. As a result, many businesses who need to advertise something online have discovered that TripAdvisor is a good place to start because it already has a significant customer base. One can say that a big part of the business model of TripAdvisor relies on UGC or user-generated content to stay relevant.

Second, the organization uses quality assurance techniques to ensure that only genuine data and reviews are published on its website. The brand does not allow for automatic review publishing, instead of requiring reviews to go through several authentication steps that include IP address and email address validation. As a result, visitors are more likely to use the site than they are to use most other travel sites.

The site is always being updated to keep it up to date with the latest technology standards. This has made it easier for marketers to combine their brand and marketing tools because customers can simply access the advertisements, which is exactly what an ad agency requires. Making TripAdvisor usable in twenty languages has also proven to be a successful marketing technique.

Advertisement revenue is split into two categories: the number of times ads are displayed and the number of clicks the ads produce on the ad-renting businesses’ websites. TripAdvisor is the company that makes the most money from clicks.

This sums up the entirety of the business model of TripAdviser. Now, let’s summarize and conclude our learnings.



TripAdvisor has been a go-to site for anyone looking for recommendations on everything from restaurants to hotels for many years. The site’s easy-to-understand ranking system makes finding the top locations to visit in any area simple. The ultimate goal of TripAdvisor’s revamped website and app is to create a fully digital travel agent using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Much like a traditional flesh-and-blood travel advisor, the smart software would come to know the individual and be able to give truly intelligent personalized recommendations.

TripAdvisor has gained popularity and success due to its smart marketing and leveraging of digital channels. You can also learn how to create impactful and targeted digital marketing campaigns by learning the up and coming field that is taking the world by storm. All you have to do is be a part of IIDE’s Online Digital Marketing Course which upskills you in all aspects of the rising digital marketing field.

Want to know more about the marketing strategies and business models of different companies? Head on over to IIDE’s Knowledge Portal to learn more

Thank you for your interest in reading this case study, let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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