PhocusWire: Google price-matching: are hotel bookings next?

PhocusWire: Google price-matching: are hotel bookings next?

Last month, industry-leading news outlet PhocusWire examined what might be next for Google’s expansion into vacation rentals, but it seems unlikely to be the only move the tech giant has up its sleeve in this area.

phocuswire-google-flights-imageIn a headline story on their site last week, OTA Insight Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Gino Engels, examined the implications for hotels in light of Google’s announcement of a “lowest fare” price guarantee offering cash refunds to travelers for overpaying on select itineraries. 

You can read the full article on PhocusWire; here’s how it starts...

Last week, Google announced a test of a new brand promise for its Flights product: a “lowest fare” price guarantee that offers cash refunds to travelers for overpaying on select itineraries. If the algorithm recommends “buy now,” and the fare actually drops prior to travel, Google will issue a cash refund. In its initial trial, the guarantee only applies on travel booked between August 13 and September 2.

The feature is either a bold product move or a savvy marketing effort - or both, as the guarantee emphasises confidence in the accuracy of its predictive algorithm. Either way, it’s captured our attention.  

Given how Google’s product suite is closely interwoven, it’s not that much of a leap to wonder if such a guarantee could soon extend to hotels. After all, the company has millions of datapoints at its disposal via its hotels product. Once you consider the insights flowing through Google Hotel Ads (which originates 65% of metasearch bookings, by one measure), the company may even have more rich data on hotels than flights.

Gino’s article goes on to discuss:

  • Personalised hotel recommendations
  • Fighting rate parity
  • Direct booking wars
  • Google: Friend or foe?

Read the full article on PhocusWire.

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