ITB 2024 Special Reporting
A Matter of Opinion: Bobby Healy on Google's Stealth Attack on Travel
By WebinTravel (WIT)
Sunday, 3rd July 2016

Bobby Healy, CTO, CarTrawler, believe that Google poses the biggest long-term threat to the profitability and growth of airlines, hoteliers and travel intermediaries that they have ever seen.

Here’s why.

Over the last number of years, Google has entered more and more areas of the market through the introduction of Google Flight Search in particular, Google Hotel Finder and Google Hotel Ads, as well as the optimisation of Google Maps for hotel bookings.

Google’s search engine has always been a natural part of the travel experience, but now Google is proactively seeking out demand for specific products while staying under the radar. Google knows what customers are looking for " and is in a powerful position to deliver it. Having a monopoly on both search and Android provides them with an unfair advantage in the travel eco-system.

Bobby Healy: “It’s a perfect scenario for Google, and a perfect storm for the travel industry: customer purchasing behaviour controlled and sold by a monopoly provider of search and mobile platforms.”

‘Short-term gain and long-term pain’

Google will bring two major trends to existing industry players: short-term gain and long-term pain. In the short term, hotels, airlines and existing OTAs will see an opportunity presented by Google, in that they will be able to work together to generate incremental demand. However, that honeymoon period can’t last forever and Google is already planning well beyond that.

Read the full story here.

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