TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO rang the opening bell on the NASDAQ

The travel websiteTripAdvisor has begun trading as an independent company on the NASDAQ Stock market.

The company, known as the world's largest travel site, completed its spin-off from parent company Expedia Inc on December 6 and began trading under the ticker symbol TRIP on Wednesday.

To celebrate the occasion, Stephen Kaufer, co-founder and CEO of the company, rang the opening bell. Shares averaged around $30, with a total market value of $3,642,474,150.

"TripAdvisor has transformed the way people plan and make travel decision by providing practical information from a huge community of millions of travelers worldwide," Bob McCooey, senior vice president of NASDAQ QMX Corporate Client Group told the Globe Newswire.

"It embodies the innovative and progressive drive that is characteristic of NASDAQ-listed companies. Because of these qualities, NASDAQ is happy to announce that TripAdvisor is the official travel review sitr of the NASDAQ Stock Market.

Launched in February 2000, TripAdvisor's system of aggregating reviews, pictures and tips left by customers of hotels, holiday destinations, restaurants and other activities saw it thrive, with more than 50 million reviews posted on the site.

Just prior to TripAdvisor's spin-off, Expedia inc effected a one-for-two reverse stock split, meaning holders of Expedia common stock were entitled to receive one share of each companies common stock for every two shares of stock held before the split.

By listing with NASDAQ TripAdvisor joins leading internet companies such as Google and eBay.