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Google enters hotel-booking sphere


But wasn't this inevitable?

Apparently discontented with simply directing users to a third party, Google is beta testing a feature that will allow travellers to complete a hotel room booking without leaving its search page.

 

 

For those seeking accommodation, the search giant will aggregate room rates from popular sites such as Hotels.com and Booking.com, as well as rates from the hotel itself. Users will then have the option of booking through an online travel agent, or ‘directly’ with the hotel, when users will complete the reservation on Google for what should be a more convenient booking experience. It is here that the Google Hotels concept differs from a similar service on TripAdvisor, and also from its own Google Flights function.

 

Although the tool has yet to be officially launched, travel technology company Sabre recently announced that it was working with Google on the function, which it says will reduce the “abandonment rate” commonly seen when consumers have to switch sites to complete a transaction.

 

“This is just the latest example of how we are continually investing in innovative solutions that deliver unique value to hotels and the travelers they serve,” Sabre Hospitality Solutions President Alex Alt said.

 

Although only available on a handful of listings in the US, the concept could well make its way to Australian shores, and if Google's influence is anything to go by, everywhere else very soon.

 

Image: Jeff Whitehead www.behance.net.

 

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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 15 July 2015


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