Inspirato, the self-styled "luxury travel subscription brand," is becoming a little less subscription-oriented as it tries to expand its potential customer pool.
Faced with lower-than expected occupancy and sluggish subscription sales, luxury travel brand Inspirato lowered its 2022 financial guidance, and transferred one-third of its salesforce and marketing personnel to new or expanded segments it is targeting, namely business travel and philanthropy.
All of this occurred as the Denver, Colorado company had to restate its first and second quarter balance sheet and income statements due to what it conceded was weak financial controls. The company said during its third quarter earnings call Tuesday that the restatements didn’t materially impact Inspirato’s operations or cash flow. A late financial filing had triggered a Nasdaq non-compliance notification in November.
Inspirato lowered its full-year 2022 revenue guidance to $340 million from an earlier $350 million to $360 million because of lower-than-envisioned occupancy in the fourth quarter and slowed sales of its core product, Pass subscriptions.
The company also anticipates a higher full-year 2022 loss on an adjusted earnings basis of $35 million compared to its earlier guidance of $25 million to $15 million. Inspirato tied the higher forecasted loss to “lower than anticipated travel demand during the peak festive season as well as the reduced pace of new Pass subscription sales and higher than anticipated operating expenses,” according to its third quarter earnings announcement.
“People have moved past revenge travel,” co-founder and CEO Brent Handler told financial analysts during Inspirato’s third quarter earnings call. “There’s a little bit of travel fatigue out there. Last year, there was some softness, for example, in our domestic portfolio in the summer because everybody wanted to be in Europe. We’re anticipating that this year, the domestic is going to be coming back and a lot of people go to Europe and the Inspirato members may be out of their system.”
Inspirato is busy trying to reinvent itself a tad in terms of expanding its extended stay and business travel offerings, as well as through a new product that would enable non-profits to buy travel packages for donors and others. It is called Inspirato for Good.
The company argued that some of these new initiatives would lower customer acquisition costs.
“So we’re really trying to build more of an ecosystem and a platform where luxury travel is in the middle, and you can [have] this philanthropy, individual pay-as-you-go, have select different ways to be able to consume our fantastic portfolio, all of which is a way of seeing we’re making the TAM (total addressable market) larger,” Handler said.
He said in 2023 Inspirato will focus on improving its cost structure and optimizing its portfolio rather than growing it.
In the third quarter, Inspirato narrowed its net loss to $7.3 million, from a net loss of $9.1 million a year earlier. Revenue climbed 44 percent to $93 million.
In early afternoon trading Tuesday, Inspirato’s shares were trading at about $1.20, a more than 10 percent decrease from Monday’s closing price.
Tags: business travel, corporate travel, earnings, extended stay, future of lodging, inspirato, online travel newsletter, philanthropy, spacs, subscriptions
Photo credit: A still from an Inspirato commercial in 2020. The company lowered its financial guidance for 2022. Inspirato