Google Just Upended Hotel Distribution

By Greg Abbott, DataArt

With search engines becoming powerful distribution channels, Google is moving into the hotel booking space. In an article published by Hospitality Net, Greg Abbott, head of Travel & Hospitality at DataArt, explores four initiatives launched by Google that expand its influence on hotel distribution, provide unquestionable benefits to hotels and threaten to push large OTA’s and TripAdvisor off their throne. Companies delivering technology to the hotel industry will also need to acknowledge the shift in travel meta-landscape and adjust their offerings accordingly.

“Typical consumer behavior already starts with searching Google. There are over 3.5 billion searches made on Google each day. And unlike before, a hotel search can now end in a transaction without ever leaving Google. Google's strategy appears to be directly taking on both OTA's and TripAdvisor. These companies will have to figure out how they can counter Google's moves, or, offer a similarly compelling value proposition. There is also risk to OTA's and TripAdvisor if Google choses to cozy up to hotels by pursuing a path of taking cost out of hotel distribution. Such a move by Google gives hotels additional leverage to put further pressure on to decrease distribution expenses on bookings made via the OTA channel and TripAdvisor.”

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