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TripAdvisor's Smartphone App to Offer Offline Information

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TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), the world’s largest online travel research company, recently announced that it will offer an offline feature on its smartphone app.

The new feature allows travelers to use TripAdvisor’s smartphone app overseas without WiFi connectivity. The users can download reviews, photos and city maps which can be accessed later even without an Internet connection.

Users may download information regarding a city when Internet connection is available. When there is no Internet connectivity, the app will automatically transition to the offline mode and feature 10 reviews. However, once the connection is restored, the app will automatically go back to online mode and offer full functionality.

Currently, the offline feature has more than 300 city maps worldwide which are powered by Telenav's Scout Maps and Navigation SDK. Users may add or remove maps on the smartphones to suit their requirement. The feature will be available on all iOS and Android smartphones.

Nowadays, smartphones are increasingly being used along with laptops and tablets to plan trips, make bookings and share reviews and related opinions. In order to cash in on this opportunity, TripAdvisor is constantly updating its mobile features. Over the last 12 months, TripAdvisor’s mobile traffic has increased at a healthy rate.

Last month, the company offered instant booking service on its mobile app allowing users to book a hotel through TripAdvisor’s booking partners on its mobile site and app.

These initiatives will help TripAdvisor to grow its user base as well as increase its conversion rates as users are now more likely to click on the advertiser’s link for booking rather than just for gathering information. According to Google Analytics, the total number of unique visitors on its websites (per month) increased from 32 million in 2008 to 260 million by 2013-end, which is quite encouraging.

TripAdvisor has built a strong portfolio through new features, continuous product upgrades, expansion into international restaurant reservation space and strategic acquisitions. These have also increased page views per visitor since users now spend more time on its website. The company is leaving no stone unturned to help consumers make their travel decisions easily and, in turn, expand its revenue base.

TripAdvisor continues to witness robust top-line growth in every quarter. The company delivered a decent first quarter, with earnings beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate on the back of improved global travel market. Revenues of $281.0 million were up 22.2% year over year, driven by improvement in all its product lines and continued strong hotel shopper growth.

Over the long term, TripAdvisor is well positioned to grow, given its expanding user base, improving margins and increasing monetization of social and mobile platforms.

Currently, TripAdvisor has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that are performing well at the current levels include Move Inc. (MOVE), China Distance (DL) and Everyday Health, Inc. (EVDY). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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