How can TRIP have 10X the market cap of TZOO or 12.5X Orbitz? The barrier to entry on websites is not that wide and the travel industry is saturated. This is not a new story. Everyone slurped up Travelzoo until it popped. Almost everyone already books their travel online as opposed to using agents these days. Sure Priceline is screaming, but that is because they are taking a larger piece of the pie. There is not secular growth here. Someone wins and others will lose. What makes TRIP one of the few winners vs. the tons of losers? Don't tell me reviews or a Facebook affiliation. Everyone is on Facebook and uses some kind of rating/review system.
it is in your head only. TRIP is 1999 bubble v2.0 aka ASKJ.
Do u remember Ask Jeeves garbage? 400+ people were editing story why Cuban boy has to stay in US. It was it. Down to zero from there :)
You sound like the type who missed out on GOOG thinking they're just the same as Yahoo, Lycos, Looksmart, Bing, and all the other losers. I mean are you seriously mentioning sites like Angie's List and Yelp here? Could you please tell me the last time either of those companies were profitable? I'll spare you the time; NEVER.
TripAdvisor is overvalued: Tripadvisor has less unique visitors than Local.com. But the market-cap is with 3.93 billion (= 3,930 million) the 60-fold of the idiotic low 66 million of Local.com. Such big divergences will never lastening for a longer time.
Unique visitors of TripAdvisor in Compare 15-Feb-12 01:28 pm Local.com has 18,745,375 unique visitors
Monthly Growth: 1,536,036 | 8.93%
Growth over the last year: 4,089,661 | 27.90%
Facebook has 168,599,429
Monthly Growth: -2,982,207 | -1.74%
Growth over the last year: 34,871,971 | 26.08%
Google has 174,124,771 unique visitors
Monthly Growth: -384,471 | -0.22%
Growth over the last year: 28,981,244 | 19.97%
Tripadvisor has 16,907,078 unique visitors
Monthly Growth: 3,593,479 | 26.99%
Growth over the last year: 6,260,140 | 58.80%
Google has a better mousetrap that has yet to be replicated. That's easy to understand. Anyone that has tried Ask or even Bing (which is better than before, but still not as good) can see that. What is TRIP's better mousetrap? They have a pretty clean website that is relatively easy to maneuver and a bunch of reviews. When they compile lists, they are not that good very often. Facebook has a massive community of hundreds of millions of people. That scale is very hard to migrate to another platform (just as Google is finding out). The TRIP platform is very small and there is not much of a regularly active community. If a Yelp or travel website or a monster tech like MSFT, YHOO, or GOOG wants to make a run at this space, then they have a real shot. People will flock to the next website - no big deal. There is no reason to stay with TRIP vs. the next one. TRIP has a couple of means of recognizing their best users, but it is nothing like being a Yelp Elite. The moat is very thin at TRIP. TRIP is a decent stock at the right price, nothing more. Again, what is their mousetrap?
You only see the 3 sites as "travel" sites. What you don't understand is what makes Trip Advisor unique. TRIP basically does a lot of data mining, not unlike Facebook or Google. Do you own DD, but the basic idea is to collect data (your interets, your friends' interests, where you've been, what types of services and amenities interest you the most, etc) and match them to your preferences. Also people love reviews and feedback especially when it's something as big as a vacation. Long gone are the days where you just plan a trip and hope for the best.
Ask your friends and family how many people use Trip Advisor, then ask how many use Travel Zoo (or even heard of it before).
I've been on Tripadvisor and have even written a couple of reviews. Sometimes their stuff can be decent and sometimes it is really odd. A few reviews on one business and it all of a sudden becomes a top thing to do... kind of weird and easily manipulated. I am a Yelp Elite and understand what an online community looks like, I just don't see much on Trip by comparison. Not sure how TRIP's data mining is any more extensive than any other site. There is information all over the place. Wouldn't IACI's Match.com have a ridiculous amount of information more than TRIP. Also every site has reviews, why are TRIP's reviews somehow better or worth more? Just go on say Hotels.com (part of Expedia) and every hotel seemingly has hundreds of reviews.
An example of TRIP's goofy lists:
See how a Spa is #2 on the list of things to do in Vancouver. That is absurd! That list is way off on a guide of what to do. Some of the reviews are decent, but it is compiled in a useless manner. #20 is just a transit system and not an attraction. Quite a few of the top twenty are very small attractions, but somehow get to the top too easily and a lot of the great stuff to do is buried at the end as a result. Kind of a side note on all this, but if this is the big differentiator then I'm not sold.