How Does TripAdvisor Make Money?

TripAdvisor is an online review platform that allows users to explore destinations and even book accommodations. 

Content on TripAdvisor is user-generated, meaning that members are the ones who post pictures as well as rate a given experience or service.

TripAdvisor, which is based in Needham, Massachusetts, was founded in 2000 by Stephen Kaufer and Langley Steinert.

In the early days, TripAdvisor started out as a search engine of searchable travel information for websites such as AOL.

After not getting any clients for the first 1.5 years, they pivoted the business towards reviews – and never looked back.

Expedia ultimately acquired TripAdvisor for $210 million in 2004. Seven years later, the company went public on the Nasdaq. 

In 2021, TripAdvisor generated $902 million in revenue. But how does the firm actually make money? 


The majority of TripAdvisor’s revenue comes from click-based advertising. Partners pay a small fee for every click to their website. 

TripAdvisor offers multiple subscriptions, which give hotel owners access to features such as data on future demand or real-time review notifications. 



TripAdvisor offers partners the ability to promote their business and products via sponsored placements in the form of display ads.

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