Despite Recovery, Tripadvisor Keeps Staff Cuts In Place


Tripadvisor executed significant cuts last year in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. With the pandemic severely curtailing travel, the Massachusetts company eliminated a quarter of its workforce, reducing expenses by 32 percent from 2019 to 2020. Although the business is now recovering, one of its chief executives told The Wall Street Journal that Tripadvisor has no plans to restore its COVID-related cuts.

“We’re going to very much resist just adding back what we had before just because we can,” Chief Financial Officer Ernst Teunissen said in an interview published on Wednesday (March 10). “You could argue that a company should have the discipline to always do that, but a pandemic really sharpens your focus.”

The layoffs were only part of the cost-cutting measures Tripadvisor undertook last year. As PYMNTS reported in April of 2020, the company put 401(k) matches on hold and had salaried employees cut their workweeks to four days. That measure was expected to save 100 jobs, according to CEO Stephen Kaufer, who pledged to take a pay cut for the remainder of that year.

According to the Journal story, Tripadvisor still suffered losses despite these cuts, reporting a $73 million net loss for the quarter that ended Dec. 31 and a 65 percent drop in revenue compared to the prior-year period. While the company doesn’t disclose booking figures, it did see revenue decrease by 86 percent after the pandemic began.

The company may look at hiring new employees for some sectors of its business depending on the level of demand in the next few months, and is looking at continued investment in some of its pre-COVID initiatives, such as expanded subscription services. Tripadvisor announced the subscription service earlier this month, a program that would offer users discounts on hotels and attractions around the world, while also building on the relationships it has forged with hospitality players.