Interview Synopsis

Google travel and the OTA industry

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • Global

As the scope of online travel and tourism continues to expand, Third Bridge Forum interviewed a former search specialist at Google to investigate how the internet giant is leveraging its global reach to move into the sector. The former Google sector chief, now an executive at an international hotel chain, explained the changes in the multi-trillion-dollar industry – and who was best placed to exploit them. 

Search Engine Giant Moves to Hotel and Flight Booking

The key point to remember when assessing Google’s assault on any industry is that it always sticks to it original mission, according to the specialist: “to organise and make the world’s information available to everyone”. 

Within the world of travel, there are “oceans” of data, he said, and Google may be one of the few tech giants with the ability to put it all together in a way that will make sense and be accessible to the wider public. 

Google has already made its presence heavily felt in the travel sector – with the launch of its flights booking service – but the vast number and array of hotels makes moving into accommodation a much more significant task. Online travel agencies (OTAs), such as and Expedia, are the portals for most travellers’ room searches, but they are being challenged by large hotel chains, reluctant to give up commission. 

Additionally, smaller hotels – of which there are millions around the world – may be missing out on bookings from these OTAs due to lack of technical ability that would allow them to seamlessly interact with their systems. 

Addressing the shortcomings of smaller providers might provide a route into OTA dominance for Google, or it could try to play the large OTAs and hotel chains at their own game. In this Interview, Third Bridge Forum explores where the opportunities lie for Google to expand into a ripe and growing market – and where it may well be outmanoeuvred by the existing specialists. 

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge’s Interview on Google Travel – Metasearch & OTA Spend, click below to view the full transcript. 

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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