TripAdvisor’s new chief financial officer Ernst Teunissen has begun his tour of the investor forum circuit, speaking today at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
When it comes to the success of its instant booking product, Teunissen repeated a lot of points made on the recent first-quarter earnings report.
But he did make some fresh comments. The remark that will probably be the most relevant to hotel owners was that TripAdvisor is applying renewed energy into getting accurate, complete descriptions of hotel attributes.
He said a key factor affecting instant booking conversion rates is an improvement in the quality of hotel content. He said:
“We want to know: Is there a good, full room description? Are there nice pictures? Is it clear if the reservation is cancelable, etc) — all of which is an important factor for conversion.”
Hotels should expect more prodding from TripAdvisor to make sure their descriptions of their properties are as thorough and clear as possible if they want to drive more direct bookings through the platform.
On the consumer side, he noted that the company is getting traction on persuading users to store their credit card details on TripAdvisor for use when booking. He said this is “a rapidly improving metric.”
He said the average book value of trips reserved through Instant Booking is also going up.
“In early days, users booked lower-risk properties, such as booking on one-night stay in a hotel. Now we see larger, multi-day bookings.”
Moving on to vacation rentals, Teunissen discussed his company’s strategy. He noted, as an aside, that he had stayed in an Airbnb with his family once and that he thought the startup had built “a fantastic company”. He added: