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Google adds airfare forecasts and loyalty marketing

10/18/2016| 8:20:44 PM| 中文

Google has begun to add airfare predictions to its metasearch tool. It has also begun to prominently encourage consumers to sign up for hotel loyalty programs for access to special rates or benefits.

Even when Google enhances its search in unoriginal ways, the travel industry needs to take notice because the search giant might someday become a major booking tool for consumers.

Here are Google’s two most notable moves: It has begun to add airfare predictions to its metasearch tool. It has also begun to prominently encourage consumers to sign up for hotel loyalty programs for access to special rates or benefits — a ploy that dovetails with hotel chains’ efforts to encourage more direct booking.

Airfare forecasts

Adding predictions of price changes for plane tickets is a catch-up move. Fare forecasts have been common on a few travel metasearch platforms like FareCompare, Hopper, Kayak, and Momondo for some time.

But Google’s new predictions of fare changes — along with its new email alerts to warn users if fares are likely to increase — may lure some customers away from the established metasearch competitors, given its mammoth user install base and its superior load time for delivering comprehensive search results.

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TAGS: direct booking | hotel marketing | Google
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