NEEDHAM, Mass., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor, LLC, the world's largest travel community and an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), today announced it has acquired four travel media businesses, adding five travel community web domains and growing its audience to more than 24 million monthly visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix. The recently acquired companies are Smarter Travel Media LLC, operator of smartertravel.com and bookingbuddy.com; SeatGuru.com; TravelPod.com; and Travel-Library.com. Terms are not being disclosed.
"TripAdvisor has built a very successful media business with user- generated content as our core and returned remarkable revenue growth and best- in-class profit margins," said Stephen Kaufer, founder and CEO of TripAdvisor. "By acquiring a number of other travel media companies, we expect to apply our learnings over the past seven years to fuel similar growth across all of these great consumer brands and active travel communities."
Kaufer added, "These are strong, profitable standalone businesses, run by talented travel industry experts. Our acquisition strategy is to build on their success, while capitalizing on obvious efficiencies, but not to mess with sites that appeal to travelers and suppliers and advertisers alike. We expect the businesses to operate independently and continue to prosper."
All of the newly acquired businesses, which combined employ approximately 50 people, generate the majority of their revenue through graphical and contextual advertising and all operate profitably. There are no near-term plans for extensive integration of the businesses or the web domains and there are no expected layoffs.
Smarter Travel Media LLC -- Based in Boston, Mass., Smarter Travel operates smartertravel.com (http://www.smartertravel.com/) and bookingbuddy.com (http://www.bookingbuddy.com/). TripAdvisor acquired Smarter Travel in February 2007.
SmarterTravel.com - SmarterTravel.com is a free online consumer
community dedicated to helping people save time and money. Featuring
weekly e-mail newsletters detailing last-minute Internet deals and the
latest travel promotions, Smarter Travel also posts the latest fare
sales, travel deals, and special promotions daily.
BookingBuddy.com - Booking Buddy is a travel search tool that helps
travelers find inexpensive flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises
faster. Booking Buddy also offers a free listing of the latest travel
deals and special offers from high-value travel suppliers.
SeatGuru -- Founded in Seattle, SeatGuru operates seatguru.com (http://www.seatguru.com/). TripAdvisor acquired SeatGuru in March 2007. SeatGuru.com was launched in October 2001 with a single color-coded interactive airplane seating chart. Due to the vast differences between airline seats, SeatGuru offers a repository of useful airline information now featuring more than 275 airplane seatmaps from more than 40 different airlines. SeatGuru also features comparison charts and articles like a laptop power guide, along with helpful information and links regarding airline policies and programs.
TravelPod -- TravelPod.com (http://www.travelpod.com/), based in Ottawa, Canada, was acquired by TripAdvisor in December 2006. TravelPod.com was released in 1997 as the Web's first site to enable its members to create online travelogues (travel blogs), which revolutionized the way people travel and share their adventures with the world. Travelers can post travelogues from previous trips or use TravelPod to host ongoing travelogues that they can update while they travel.
Travel Library -- Based in London, England, Travel Library (http://www.travel-library.com/) was acquired by TripAdvisor in September 2006. Travel Library is an Internet travel information site focused on building a sustainable community of contributing users to ensure that the information provided is accurate, interesting and up to date. Travel Library allows visitors to share local knowledge and experiences on destinations and travel services around the world.