Travel search site Trivago pivots amid pandemic to cut costs while expanding its horizons

Axel Hefer, CEO of Trivago


It’s been stated there is not any acquire with out ache and that what does not kill you makes you stronger.

Online journey search agency Trivago appears to have taken the sentiment to coronary heart amid an ongoing pandemic that is put its business by the wringer for some 14 months.

First-quarter income on the Dusseldorf, Germany-based firm — which Expedia Group holds a majority stake in — was down 73% in contrast to the identical interval in 2020 and certified referrals plunged 55%.

Despite that, CEO Axel Hefer is upbeat about Trivago’s prospects.

His crew made strategic cuts, while mapping out methods to develop in an altered journey market.

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“We realized very early that this wouldn’t be just a few months, but something that would last longer,” stated Hefer, including that agency restructured in April 2020 and decreased its value base, which he stated stabilized the agency and and improved money circulate.

Indeed, Trivago shrank its first-quarter working loss to 8.9 million euro (about $10.76 million) from 215.three million a yr earlier than — a 96% enchancment.

“On the cash side, we are in a very good position,” Hefer stated. Because of that, he stated Trivago does not want to generate quite a lot of revenue instantly and might as an alternative consider the strategic tasks it desires to push.

Trivago has functioned primarily as a web based lodge reserving search instrument that compiles fee and different lodging info from websites like and Priceline, in addition to lodges chains and on-line journey businesses, for comparability purchasing by customers.

Trivago launched Trivago Weekend within the U.S. and U.Okay. in April.


But the corporate introduced in April a partnership with TUI Group’s Musement division to energy a brand new actions reserving function on its site. The association affords entry to 55,000 excursions, actions and sights to customers within the U.S., U.Okay., Russia and 11 European nations.

The firm then adopted up with Trivago Weekend within the U.S. and U.Okay. The new product affords lodging and expertise content material shut to customers’ properties, “in direct response to the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic,” in accordance to the corporate.

As an instance, Hefer stated prospects in England is likely to be proven journey product in locations like Oxford and Bath, reasonably than much-visited London or farther-flung locations in Europe, Asia or America. The launch follows Trivago’s acquisition of in January.

“This local travel trend will linger,” he stated. “In the long term, over five to 10 years, these things tend to even out and go back to normal, but it will take quite some time.”

The one key strategic alternative for journey corporations is to keep related on the time when prospects aren’t touring.

Trivago is anticipating a robust summer season, however that worldwide journey will path a faster restoration in the remainder of the business, in accordance to Hefer.

Meanwhile, there’s an opportunity the agency might help construct a brand new market — and revenue from it — as less-visited locations adapt to meet new demand.

“It’s a big opportunity because, once you actually improve that new offering with additional volume, you might even be able to permanently capture more demand,” Hefer stated, pointing to the traditional chicken-or-the-egg dilemma dealing with smaller locations.

“If you don’t have great hotels to stay in, and great attractions, you don’t get the visitors, but now at least you are getting a tailwind of some volume,” he stated. “The destinations that use that opportunity well can improve their competitiveness.”

Trivago has extra improvements within the pipeline. Hefer stated he desires to improve the variety of “touch points” with customers, have interaction them extra by extra site options and check out new advertising concepts.

“The basic direction we are taking is that the one key strategic opportunity for travel companies is to stay relevant at the time when customers are not traveling,” he stated. “We want to be relevant 12 months a year and, for that, you need more features and a broader set of communication channels.

“The key focus within the pandemic, for us, has been to put together for a push in that course.”

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