Expedia a step closer to ditching TripAdvisor

Expedia to sell TripAdvisor for $4 billionTravel industry … welcome to high finance! By the end of the year, online travel agency Expedia is expected to spin off its TripAdvisor unit in an initial public offering, according to MarketWatch. And, the deal could be worth as much as $4 billion.

Think about it: all those hotel reviews you’ve written, photos you’ve posted and advice you’ve sought could be worth as much as Facebook generates in advertising revenue this year. Clearly, you’ve been working hard to churn out all that free content for your fellow travelers.

So, here’s the cosmic justice in all this. Expedia, the largest online travel agency in terms of revenue (which is what really matters), is set to benefit in a big way. But, you don’t post to TripAdvisor for fame and fortune. You do it to help your fellow travelers. Well, imagine how much traveling the folks cashing in on this IPO will be able to do. Maybe they’ll take your reviews to heart!

Look for the IPO filing in a few weeks … and celebration by a handful of people around the Christmas holiday.

[photo by jollyUK via Flickr]