TripAdvisor Trumps Yelp for Now

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm a fan of Yelp (YELP) and wrote about it on Dec. 10. Yelp offers a lot more than just reviews on places to eat. But I like TripAdvisor (TRIP) better when I look at the charts, as you will see.

Yelp cuts to the chase with info about, among other things, shopping, food, nightlife, arts and entertainment, local flavor and public services and government. In many ways it's a lot like TripAdvisor, which was started in 2000, four years before YELP. TripAdvisor has had a head start in establishing loyalty and a brand name with customers. 

But there are demographic distinctions between TripAdvisor and Yelp.

TripAdvisor has more of an appeal to that large group of Americans between the ages of 45 and 70. By adding four years onto the front and back ends of the classic Baby Boom generation, you have a target audience of more than 80 million people. For the first 13 years of the 21st century, they've been used to going to TripAdvisor to see if a motel is fit to sleep in or an eatery has food worth consuming.

The company's travel research platform aggregates customer reviews and opinions of members about destinations, restaurants and accommodations such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, specialty lodging, and vacation rentals. TripAdvisor also has other activities through its various TripAdvisor-branded Web sites.

These include tripadvisor.com in the U.S. and localized versions of the Web site in 30 countries, including China under the brand daodao.com. In addition, it manages and operates Web sites under 20 other travel media brands, providing broad travel planning resources. TripAdvisor also licenses its content to third parties, which is also a profit center for the company.

TripAdvisor-branded sites include the travel community throughout the world, with approximately 260 million unique monthly visitors, and 100 million reviews and opinions covering approximately 2.7 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.

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