Is Google the friend or the enemy of your business? It’s often said that you should “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, so either way, it’s important to pay very close attention to what Google is doing in travel.
Google has the ability to cause gravitational and substantial disruption to the industry. Google Travel, Google Flights and ‘Reserve with Google’ are the products of Google’s increasing investment and interest in the global travel market in 2019 and 2020.
The difference between Google and the Booking/Priceline duopoly is Google’s huge reservoir of consumer data, and its ability to tailor. In the same way that Google has helped niche markets in finding their groups and audiences, so it will do in travel, so a unique product that reflects the tastes that people leave in their digital footprints is going to find it’s way.
So what for the OTAs? Will Google smash up the Booking/Priceline dominance? Google doesn’t have any inventory to sell as it gets its inventory from the OTAs, but it’s now also getting inventory from booking systems that exist as an establishment’s direct channel, and those bookings cost suppliers much less. In the same way that metasearch gave the consumer much more choice and comparison ability across OTAs, Google’s version could give more prominence to the direct channel, and we will be showing case studies in how this is already happening in some markets.
In this session we will get the latest developments from Google, we will talk about Google Ads, Reserve with Google and we expect ‘API’ to be mentioned in good measure. We will also have a look at Amazon, and find out why Amazon might be a sleeping giant that could smash even Google out of the water in the digital travel future.