Why Google Travel will disrupt hospitality

Google Travel landing page

The emergence of shoppable content across platforms, from Instagram to Google Shopping, is intended to remove friction. The user can purchase products without leaving the platform. User retention as the subsequent goal (and an attack on Amazon…).

Google’s push for Google Shopping strongly indicates Google Travel to become a gamechanger for the hospitality industry.

Google Travel is a metasearch engine for the entire travel experience. From exploration to flight and finally hotel, this will render other metasearch engines practically obsolete. After all, every journey starts on Google. So why leave the platform?

Bookers will, in fact, stay on Google and complete the booking there.

Will Google become the next OTA?

No, Google will not become an OTA. And it doesn’t even have to.

Instead, Google will facilitate the booking. The actual transaction will happen in the background, either via the hotel directly or a distribution partner.

This way, Google will not hold any inventory or manage a large and expensive sales organization. Instead, all this remains with hotels and OTAs while Google simply takes a cut.

Google makes this quite clear and states that booking confirmations, payments, etc. will be handled by the hotel or distribution partner.

Google Travel ties various Google products together. Google maps for the location-based search, Google image search for hotel photos, Google my business listing for hotel information, Google reviews for obvious reasons, and Google Hotel Ads of course for even more obvious reasons.

Hotels will need to ensure to be well positioned. For independent hotels, this means their CRS needs to connect to Google or they need to work with an integration partner. Google reviews have finally a practical use, as bookers can filter (among other things) by ranking.

How independent hotels can remain competitive on Google Travel

  1. Connect to Google Hotel Ads
  2. Maintain rate parity
  3. Review hotel content on your Google business listing
  4. Actively manage your Google reviews (as well as all other review platforms)
  5. Improve images on Google
  6. Optimize your offers for search filters

If you would like to discuss Google Travel and what your hotel can do, I’d be happy to connect.

contact me by email or call 1-613-663-2936 or find me on LinkedIn