TripAdvisor Buys Spain’s eltenedor

TripAdvisor buys Spain's eltenedor

TripAdvisor buys Spain’s eltenedor

US-based TripAdvisor has just closed its first acquisition in the restaurant industry with the purchase of lafourchette, an online and mobile reservation service for restaurants in France, Spain and Switzerland.

No financial details of the deal were disclosed, but the investment is strategic for the world’s largest travel site, increasing its restaurant offering in some key European tourist destinations.

lafourchette has a network of over 12,000 restaurant partners across Europe and operates the eltenedor brand in Spain. It was formerly majority owned by investment firm Otium Capital. Its integration within TripAdvisor will allow the Paris-based firm to accelerate its expansion plans and improve customer service quality.

So how will lafourchette’s Spanish division benefit from going global?

TRIPADVISOR BOOSTS SPAIN FOOD INDUSTRY

eltenedor is Spain’s leading online restaurant booking service with over 6,000 establishments located in cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Like its parent company, eltenedor has a mobile phone application which is proving to be very popular in Spain where smartphones’ penetration is the highest in Europe at 66 per cent.

Eating out is part of Spanish tradition, and Sunday lunch in a restaurant has always been in the family’s weekly budget, particularly during the economic boom. eltenedor’s website, which offers up to a 50 per cent discount on meals, even at weekends, is now a big attraction for crisis-hit Spanish households. And by leveraging TripAdvisor’s restaurant traffic of over 200 million restaurant page views per month, there will be more demand for on eltenedor’s site –and not just from the locals!

The potential boost for Spain’s food services industry is massive, not least because it will be able to cash in on the inflow of international travellers relying on TripAdvisor to plan their perfect vacation. And TripAdvisor has not lost any time in maximising its acquisition. Content integration has already begun and restaurant availability search has been included in TripAdvisor’s city pages for destinations where lafourchette has partners. So users can search availability and reserve a table for a specific date and time directly from TripAdvisor.

FOREIGN INVESTORS EYE SPAIN

TripAdvisor’s buy of lafourchette follows Lonely Planet’s acquisition of TouristEye; both are savvy moves given the brighter outlook for the global travel industry in 2014. European economic recovery and rising consumer confidence is spurring holidaymakers and businesses to loosen their purse strings again.

Spain remains a key location given expectations for another bumper tourist season. Last year, Spain became the world’s third most popular tourist destination. So eltenedor will clearly benefit from TripAdvisor’s global reach.

For more information on investing in Spain, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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