And the winner is ... "experiences." It's a trendy way these days to refer to what formerly were known as tours and activities or attractions. Following Airbnb and Booking.com, TripAdvisor's new business unit will be called TripAdvisor Experiences. Breathing is an experience and living is an experience. Does the name du jour really reflect tour and activities offerings?
TripAdvisor Attractions is hopping onboard the Experiences bandwagon.
The company will rebrand its business unit as TripAdvisor Experiences, according to a confidential internal communication obtained by Skift.
The memo from Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor Attractions and Vacation Rentals, and sent to employees, said the switchover of the Attractions business unit name to Experiences will take place April 23, and there will be more details to come.
The rebrand is mostly for internal use, and communications wiith suppliers and the travel industry for purposes such as conferences, and isn’t consumer-facing, the communication said. So the Things to do tab on TripAdvisor and the Viator website will remain, the memo said. TripAdvisor acquired tours and activities company Viator for $200 million in 2014.
So inside the company and for communications with suppliers, TripAdvisor Experiences will replace TripAdvisor Attractions and Viator — although the Viator brand will remain when it comes to selling experiences to consumers.
“As Viator and TripAdvisor have more closely integrated, we found ourselves using several names,” the memo said. “Who are we — Viator? TripAdvisor Attractions? TripAdvisor? A combination? Of course we all know we are part of the TripAdvisor family, but our name hasn’t always be clear. Just ask members of the supply and recruiting team.”
Halpin explained that the number of experiences, ranging from cooking classes and skip-the-line access and multi-day trips, had doubled to more than 100,000 over the last two years, and had outgrown the attractions or tours and activities designation.
“So Attractions is not a word that accurately describes our business, and it doesn’t accurately describe many of our products,” Halpin wrote.
The name change somewhat impacts TripAdvisor’s vacation rentals employees, as well. “When we communicate with both Experiences and Rentals employees, we’ll refer to this business unit as TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals,” Halpin wrote.
The Halpin memo said additional information will be forthcoming as the brand refresh gets under way April 23, and there will be messaging on how to communicate the change with suppliers.
The term “experiences” has been replacing the former sector-standard designation of tours and activities or attractions since Airbnb rolled out Airbnb Experiences in 2016. Airbnb aims to offer experiences in 1,000 cities by the end of 2018.
Booking.com likewise has similar branding, Booking Experiences. They are currently available in 40 cities; Booking.com only offers them after someone books a stay, but that availability might be broadened, officials said.
Viator’s branding and status have been a sticking point with many of its employees who transitioned to TripAdvisor with the acquisition in 2014. Many of these employees left the company as legacy TripAdvisor employees replaced them in key roles. This Experiences rebranding, though, apparently doesn’t impact Viator’s consumer-facing brand, according to the memo.
The memo also tells employees that “there is no change to your employment contract because of the rebranding.
Halpin added: “Many thanks to all of your continuing the momentum in our organization — new product milestones, a new name, new launches on the horizon … phenomenal work! Keep it up.”
Skift Tourism Reporter Daniel Peltier contributed to this report.
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Photo credit: Tourists at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. TripAdvisor is changing the name of a business unit to TripAdvisor Experiences. Skift