Why Google woke up and smelt the travel coffee

Google has never been lacking in confidence – and that’s not just because it has a market cap of $487 billion and last year took in $74.5 billion in revenues.

google

There have been some high-profile and somewhat embarrassing disappointments on the product front, such as real-time messaging platform Wave, social network Google Plus, and the nerdy Google Glass. But Google – or Alphabet, as the umbrella company is now known as – and its power doesn’t ever seem to diminish.

Part of the reason for this is that it commands an enormous influence over the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people, primarily through its search tools, email service, YouTube and Android-hosted mobile phones.

The company’s influence over (it would probably say “partnership with”) the travel industry is not a new story – with it happily taking billions of marketing dollars every year from travel brands in the form of keyword buying and video and display advertising.

But, until now, even following the launches of Flight Search, Hotel Finder, Hotel Ads et al, there are many in the industry who think that Google’s hold over the industry from an actual product perspective has been somewhat lacklustre so far.

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