The TripAdvisor family extends beyond these sites to also include Web sites such as smartertravel.com, seatguru.com and bookingbuddy.com.
The good news is that it's business as usual at Cruise Critic as it will continue to operate independently. TripAdvisor will not be re-branding either site as a result of the association, and a source told us that "Cruise Critic and Independent Traveler have unique brands and attract a loyal user base."
The even better news, according to Kathleen Tucker, Cruise Critic's founder and publisher, is that "TripAdvisor's model of acquiring best-of-breed travel media companies and allowing them to continue to operate independently is ideal for us. By joining the TripAdvisor family, we'll have more resources to continue to build our business, expand internationally and strengthen our lead in the cruise space."
Here's a link to the official press release.
For TripAdvisor, Cruise Critic has unique appeal. "While we have been investing in the growth of TripAdvisor both functionally and geographically, the success of both Cruise Critic and IndependentTraveler.com, is not easy to replicate," company sources said.
As well, "this acquisition builds on the success of TripAdvisor, which is a leader in the travel media category and gives us a strong foothold in the $32 billion cruise market. More than 12 million travelers booked a cruise in 2006, up from 500,000 in 1970, and the demand continues to grow."
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor