Daily Management Review

Travel on Mobile – All in for Google in this New Venture


Travel on Mobile – All in for Google in this New Venture
A major upgrade about how one can browse and book holidays is to be announced by Google and it is ready and available to be downloaded on the smartphones.
Two cities in Europe will pop up as soon as one pulls up the normal Google search bar and simply types – for example "Europe Destinations." More options would pop up if one presses the blue down arrow.
Vast industry data feeds that are available with Google are used by it to display options for that holiday for each destination and suggest best dates, best airfares and the average hotel prices that are available at the destination. Videos, ideas on local tourist sights and other locations nearby are also attached by Google along with suggested itineraries.
The application also allows a user to fix a budget range and the search options are displayed within the range that is fixed by the user. However for the moment the new service is only available on mobile search and has been named Google Destinations.
A platform that people naturally turn to browse and search for a vacation is the aim of Google. That's the online travel industry's current holy grail in many respects.
Identifying what elements of a holiday each might buy, where and on what date, and then funneling — or selling — those "qualified leads" to suppliers of that inventory who bid in real time for the business is the way Google wants to do business which according to the company has huge potential for profits as the company seeks to draw members of the public to Google Destinations.
At the moment similar services are offered by the industry's two other main aggregators; Kayak, owned by giant Priceline and Trivago - owned by the other industry giant  Expedia and Google is clearly hoping its new product leapfrogs the services that are currently being offered. This application can be a powerful commercial tool as the Google's developers have clearly worked hard to streamline and simplify the product.
People have been waiting for it to exert its potential power ever since Google bought travel data provider ITA in 2010. Expedia has recently been allowed to take over more rival brands in anticipation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
It is far from certain about the negative impact that Google will have on its two big rivals. It needs those rivals as business partners to buy its qualified leads. Much of the $3 billion that Priceline spent on grabbing customers last year went to Google. 
The extent to which Expedia and Priceline supply hotels or other travel inventory at the customer level is not possible for Google at the moment. Both the companies deal with cancellations, customer phone lines or local owners.
In order to strengthen their proprietary relationships both the companies have taken on thousands of staff in recent quarters that have also widened the competitive moat around their business models.
It's a potential win-win for all involved if Google Destinations can substantially increase the share of the travel market that it sells to its partners.