SAN JUAN, PR – Retailers that sell advertising aren’t limited to ecommerce sites like Amazon or store chains like Walmart. The category of retail media networks includes marketplaces for services such as travel and tourism – key parts of what’s been described as the experience economy.

“Travel is the ultimate experience, obviously, and there’re so many sizes and flavors of that,” Christine Maguire, general manager and vice president of global media at travel-review site Tripadvisor, said in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Rob Williams at the Beet Retreat San Juan. “Consumers are willing to trade down on the material goods to make sure that they’re making a lasting memory with their travel experiences.”

Younger consumers who have been the earliest adopters of social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok often share their travel experiences with friends and followers as part of the broader YOLO ethos – or “you only live once.” Aside from the hotels, airlines, cruise ships, car-rental companies and tour operators that want to reach these upper-income consumers are brands that sell everything from personal care items to apparel and sporting goods to travelers.

“You’re planning a trip. You need your new outfit. You need sunscreen. You want a drink when you’re on vacation. You want culinary experiences,” Maguire said. “There’s a lot of ways that we’re working with a variety of brands across categories to tie the travel intent and that traveler experience with the initiatives that they have for their business.”

Social Values, Gen AI Tools

Younger consumers that advertisers seek to reach also tend to buy products and services whose moral and ethical principles reflect their personal values.

“We at Tripadvisor are really here to make everybody a better traveler,” Maguire said. “With that comes ED&I [equity, diversity and inclusion], the ways that we can connect diverse voices or local businesses that self-identify as a minority. We also work in a ton of ways across sustainability.”

Maguire sees additional opportunities for Tripadvisor, whose revenue last year grew 20% to $1.79 billion, to ease some of the difficulties that come with travel planning and booking. These efforts include the adoption of generative artificial intelligence – the technology that powers popular apps such as ChatGPT.

“We’re doing a lot in the gen AI space with trip planning,” Maguire said. “We’re creating itineraries based on a few small inputs….and then we’re publishing that across our site. We’re really excited about the future of gen AI and what we can do from a travel perspective.”

Trust Is At The Core Of Data-Driven Strategy: Tripadvisor’s Maguire

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