World Panel
Viewpoint12 June 2019

What to expect with Google's new positioning in travel?

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What to expect with Google's new positioning in travel?
Facade of I Google Hotel in Incheon, South-Korea

Launched earlier in May, Google Trips puts merges flights, hotels, packages, home-rentals, car rentals, ridesharing, cruises, and experiences search in one single, übermensch ecosystem, combining the Google Trips app, Google Flights, and Google Hotels under one landing page. And, with Google getting bigger on the travel landscape, OTAs continue diversifying the risks: Booking.com (with Q1-2019 revenue down by 3%, don't forget), especially, alluded to new possible acquisition and it is rumored to announce its new stand-alone tours & attractions program any day now. My long-view on the topic is that Google is going to cover the whole traveler's journey, while OTAs will move more and more to B2B, possibly even SaaS, landscapes. How will these changes impact hotels? What's your take?

This viewpoint was created by
Simone Puorto , Travel Tech Journalist | Published Author | Consultant
Martin Soler
Partner at Soler & Associates

Following a great panel at HITEC Europe with Uli Kastner, I believe Google will become a dominant player in the hotel distribution landscape after the next big economic shift. Every economic downturn has been the catalyst for a new dominant player on the distribution space. 9/11 made Expedia, 2008 made Booking and the next one might be the catalyst for Google.

This is a very over-simplified view but looking at the way Google is growing their "stack" it seems the most likely player. Let's not forget that Google's micro-moments concept is also a way for them to get more people to pay for more ads at each one of those micro-moments since they're present every step of the way - from direct, through metasearch and to OTAs.

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