Expedia has started claiming in its ads that it’s the “world’s largest travel site.” It’s an interesting assertion, considering that TripAdvisor, which spun off from Expedia in 2011, also refers to itself as “the world’s largest online travel site.” They both base their claims on data from comScore, so who’s right?
As it turns out, they both are.
Expedia is basing its claim on its status as a full-service online travel agency that sells multiple lines of travel, allowing consumers to book things like flights, cars and hotels all in the same place. This was noted by travel news site Skift, and confirmed by the company this morning.
While TripAdvisor lets users search for similar offerings, it is primarily a hotel review and media site, and relies on online travel agencies to actually make the sale, putting it in a different category. That’s how each companies is able to claim that it’s the biggest travel site of its kind: TripAdvisor makes most of its money from ads, while Expedia makes its money from people paying to travel.
No matter what it calls itself, Expedia is doing well. The company reported this month that its fourth quarter revenue topped $1.1 billion, up more than 15 percent over the same period the year before. However, the company is trying to fend off reports that it has lost some of its search placement on Google due to punishment over improperly using paid clicks to boost its results.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor brought in $212.7 million in revenue last quarter, and said that it brought in more than 2 billion unique visitors.