Google’s entry into metasearch may be more than half a decade old, but it continues to be a closely watched obsession for the travel industry.
Since the very beginning, Phocuswright has carefully tracked the evolution of Google travel products and their growing role in travel’s search-shop-buy funnel. Phocuswright’s 2017 deep dive on metasearch revealed two clear trends:
- Google is gaining ground, but especially so in flights, where it appears to have overtaken Kayak in overall traffic and referrals.
- Google Flights and Hotels send a great deal more traffic to airline and hotel websites than they send to OTAs.
Google Hotels remains a relatively small player in hotel metasearch today, but it too is gaining, especially as a source of traffic to hotels. Indeed, hotel chains may be looking to Google as a lever to loosen the enormous role OTAs play in the online hotel search-shop-buy cycle. Google Hotels’ referrals to chains have surged since late 2017.
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