If you ask Stephen Kaufer, co-founder and CEO of TripAdvisor, what is different today from ten years ago he says: “More people than every before love to travel. It has become cheaper and less daunting to see the world. We travel more often, rely on the personal advice of others to plan our trips, and love to use our smartphones to check out the cheapest travel options for the best trip and an unforgettable experience.“
Smartphones have become indispensable on the go
Over the next five to ten years it will become even more important to access content while on the go via the smartphone in one’s pocket, both in order to decide on local activities or independently plan trips from to Z.
If you ask Stephen Kaufer what role TripAdvisor will play in the future, he says: “Anyone who wants to shop online looks on Amazon rather than Google. Anyone searching for trips or leisure activities online starts with TripAdvisor – because they can find everything they need there, because we make it easy to make the right decision, and because they can trust the recommendations.“
The next big challenge: role-specific personalised services and in-destination content
As regards in-destination services, i.e. tips on local services and providers, this will indeed be an enormous task. This is not just about offering comprehensive information, about a helicopter trip option across the Grand Canyon for example, but also about presenting an overview of every provider and their customer ratings as well.
What is more, “in order to really be able to give relevant recommendations we must have a detailed understanding of who is sending the request and in what role, whether they are alone, a couple, with friends or with the family at their destination.” Doing a good job here, aided by technology, artificial intelligence and through personal contact is the next big challenge, as Kaufer sees it. In view of his already very detailed database and more than one billion TripAdvisor users per month he sees little competition however, and is confident about the future.