Google – love it or hate it – plays an important part in almost every part of the travel ecosystem.
For consumers, at a basic level, its role at the top of the funnel has changed very little in the years it has been a search engine – giving travelers the opportunity to find details and information on destinations, routes, products and a lot more.
It takes billions (around $10 billion, in fact, via just two brands alone – Expedia Group and Booking Holdings in 2018) from travel providers that want to use the platform to place ads alongside search results or within specific services, such as its tools for hotel or flight search.
The role that Google plays in travel is changing and has now done so over the course of a number of years. And, crucially, it is that evolving role that concerns executives through the industry.
The shopping and buying of travel products is slowly evolving from a pure-play metasearch model to facilitated bookings, especially in the air ticket sector.