Travel-review website TripAdvisor it is buying Kuxun.cn, a Chinese flight and hotel search engine. TripAdvisor is probably the best known and the most trusted of the travel review sites. Yes, reviews of hotels by their own PRs sneak through every now and again but, generally, you get a fair picture.
TripAdvisor is owned by Expedia and plans to invest more than $50 million in China through late 2011. The budget includes buying Kuxun, launching its own Chinese travel-review website, Daodao.com, in April, and hiring more staff.
TripAdvisor will probably double the number of staff in China working on both websites to 160 over the next year from 80 now. Over the next two years, it aims to double the combined number of visitors to Kuxun and Daodao.
Kuxun lets users compare airfares and hotel-room prices from various sellers, while Daodao allows users to review and read reviews of hotels and travel destinations.
Online Wall Street Journal reports that Chief Executive of TripAdvisor, Stephen Kaufer, said, "We’re prepared to invest over the next several years, not looking at the bottom line, in order to establish and maintain a leadership position in the five-plus year time frame. If we do a good job of that, the revenue will follow in subsequent years."