Tripadvisor’s Viator Stays On Top in Online Day Tours: New Skift Research

In our latest report, Skift Research looks into Tripadvisor’s different business segments and the unique challenges each faces. Its core hotel metasearch model is slowing, facing challenges from Google, but still provides the lion’s share of corporate profits. To re-accelerate growth, Tripadvisor is investing heavily in its experience and dining products.

The below excerpt focuses on Skift Research’s proprietary analysis of online tours and activity inventory on Tripadvisor’s platform and how that compares with competitors. Get the full report here to stay ahead of this trend.

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Viator’s Market Position
We believe that Tripadvisor, through its subsidiary Viator is the largest online booking site for day tours and activities in the world. Based on its latest filings, Tripadvisor has over 395,000 tour listings available for sale on its sites. For context, we believe that the next largest platform, Expedia, has 210,000-plus listings available. And the five largest tours and activity booking sites have a collective 705,000-plus listings, meaning that Viator/Tripadvisor contribute just over half of that total volume.

Exhibit 19 : Listings on leading tour and activity platforms, concentration in top 100 tourist destinations

Viator has aggressively grown the size of its experiences platform over the last two years, but during the same time the competition has gotten much tougher.

In Skift Research’s 2018 State of Tours and Activities we conducted a proprietary analysis of tours and activities inventory on five major online distribution platforms: Viator, Expedia, Airbnb, GetYourGuide, and Klook. The goal was to understand approximate current market shares and regional presence. For all sites, we compared how many listings were offered to consumers across 100 of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. By holding the selected cities constant, we were able to make an apples-to-apples comparison of how these booking sites stacked up directly against each other in key markets. The original February 2018 study collected data on nearly 70,000 activities which we believed to represent nearly 46% of the total volume of tours available on these sites.

Skift Research updated this analysis in October of 2018 and then again in September of 2020, giving us time-series data on the evolution of the tours and activities platforms on these sites.

Viator grew by 54 percent in just that first six-month period in 2018, going from 38,000 listings in those top tourist locales to 59k by October of the same year. It continued to add supply at a breakneck pace over the last two years with tour inventory more than doubling from October 2018 through September 2020, growing at a 56 percent compound annual rate. Overall, from when we first started building this dataset, Viator has added more than 105,000 listings in the cities we track. We believe it has added more than 265,000 listings across its full platform.

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Exhibit 20: Viator listing count and relative positioning for top 100 cities over time

However, while Tripadvisor has been growing the supply of tours available to book on its site, so too have its competitors. Most notable is Expedia, which converted its Local Expert platform to allow for self-serve onboarding and saw listings grow dramatically. As a result, Viator’s market share of listings in the top 100 destinations we tracked actually declined, from ~57 percent in 2018 to 48 percent in 2020.

Exhibit 21: Change in listing share at top platforms over the last two years

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