Industry Update
External Article14 March 2019

What will Google Hotels mean for online booking sites?

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Nearly a decade ago, Google bought travel software company ITA. ITA was the company behind the reservations systems for many major airlines and travel sites such as Kayak, Orbitz, Hotwire and many others. At the time of the acquisition, Google said it wanted to create new kinds of online travel experiences that "solve end user problems" and "look different" from existing tools, according to then Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

A decade of development. It has taken a very long time for those differentiated experiences to start showing up — and they're arguably not all that differentiated (except by being a part of Google). About seven years ago the company launched Google Flights, which has received several UI and feature upgrades over time. Then there was Google Trips in 2016, a travel app integrated with Gmail. Now Google has launched a new Hotel search and booking site.

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